Fears that Jan Vertonghen would miss Saturday’s game at the Stadium of Light have been realised with Andre Villas-Boas confirming that the defender will sit this one out. The Belgian picked up an ankle problem during Wednesday’s win at Fulham and we now return to the ongoing saga of who will cover at Left Back.

Jan joins Christian Eriksen and Emmanuel Adebayor as the only confirmed absentees although it seems unlikely that Danny Rose is fit enough to resume on the left side. That leaves Kyle Naughton and Zeki Fryers as the only real options with the right footed Naughton as our tip to deputise.

As always, there are plenty of alternatives in midfield if AVB wants to make a change from Wednesday’s starting XI. Andros Townsend, Nacer Chadli, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Lewis Holtby and Mousa Dembele – if fit – could all come into contention.

The final question is up front where Jermain Defoe came in for Roberto Soldado. Does AVB keep faith in JD or switch back to the Spanish international?

Here’s how we think it will line up but what’s your view?



  1. Defoe!!! Are people serious?? No doubt his commitment but he isn’t good enough IMHO! A year ago people were sayin we needed to sell!! I think holtby deserves a start and Dawson should be dropped ASAP, again all the determination in the world but not up2
    Scratch! My team would be as attracting as possible so with that said!!





    I pick capoue over sandro for two reasons he needs game time and sandro has played a lot in a shirt time, can’t risk and injury!

    Personally I think we need more people in the team who can score, Lennon and Townsend don’t offer any and not that much assists! Lamela and chadli both did that before comin to England so at least have the capacity to do so!! Siggy will score goals and creature them and holtby IMHO is a deep playin playmaker/box to box! Don’t get me wrong this wouldn’t be my 1st 11 If all we’re fit but more than capable of wiinning games.

  2. I see Chadli and Lennon starting on the wings. Although i would prefer Lamela and Townsend. I have no idea why you have Defoe up there. Should be Soldado. I agree that Paulinho should be rested but it actually looks like he has a clause in his contract saying when fit he plays all games (probably the deal clincher for him wrt the World
    Cup next year… not for us as the Black Lampard is actually the Brazilian Jenas). My team : Lloris, Walker, Kaboul, Chiriches, Naughton, Sandro, Dembele, Siggurdson, Lamela, Townsend, Soldado. AVBs team: Lloris, Walker, Dawson, Chiriches, Naughton, Capoue, Dembele, Paulinho, Lennon, Chadli, Soldado.

  3. Soldado for Defoe. I know he’s not getting service and the pressure is getting to him etc, but he’s still quality. I think if more is done to accommodate him the goals will come. If he’s only getting a couple of chances per match he can’t be expected to score.

  4. For me I’d have;

    Walker, Dawson, Chiriches, fryers;
    Capoue, Paulinho, dembele;
    Lamela, soldado, siggurdson;

    Rest Sandro, give fryers a run out…

    Bring on as subs: holtby, Townsend and Sandro if needed…

    We need our wingers to stop cutting inside EVERY TIME, it narrows our game and limits us to shots from the edge of the 18 yard box as the centre gets congested. We don’t have big target men in the box, so rather than just crossing to their defenders… Wingers should try run it to the by-line and flash low crosses across the 6 yard box. Soldado can finish them, or anyone running into the box, such as Paulinho and siggy etc… Flash it in fast enough and it can even take a touch off a defender and go in…..

    Just need to get our wingers to mix it up. Sometimes cut inside and run at defenders, sometimes go round the outside and whip it in! Otherwise we get predictable!

  5. I’d try something different
    Chriches Dawson Kaboul
    Walker Fryers
    Dembele Holtby

    5-3-2 with Walker and Fryers as wing backs, whatever happens Paulinho needs to be a non starter too many underperformance games


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