Changes are surely coming today. Thomas Christiansen isn’t sure what needs to be done according to his press conference but he’s confident that the fortunes of the side will turn around in the coming games. The worrying slump in recent weeks has been dreadful, the lack of ideas and even fight or passion is obvious and today the side have the chance to pull off what would be an upset given recent form, away at Bristol City.
MY XI (3-5-2)
GK – Felix Wiedwald – Lonergan didn’t have a bad game last week but the long balls were just coming straight back at us. The shorter ones he tries to play into the full backs went straight out of play and we can’t afford to do either today. Keeping the ball is crucial. Wiedwald needs to command his area much better.
RCB – Luke Ayling – Not been having a good spell but still a starter every week. If Cooper is dropped he will be captain and we need his character in the side at the moment. He seems to be the one in and around the dressing room to help boost morale and in a back three he would be fine.
CB – Pontus Jansson – One of the most obvious poor performers the last few games. Held his hands up and said he had “been shit” and now we need to see the real Pontus Jansson out on the pitch. He enjoys defending but it hasn’t seemed like that recently. Huge game today.
LCB – Liam Cooper – A couple of poor displays in the last couple but if he can rediscover that form of early season, like many players he will give Bristol City some issues going forward. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Pennington but Cooper as the left-sided centre back would suit better. Needs to up his game again.
CM – Ronaldo Vieira – Surely Christiansen can see what everyone else can? Vieira has barely kicked a ball last season and he’s one of the players we should be building the future around. He is that good and getting bullied again is well on the agenda in Bristol if we don’t get amongst them early. Vieira is the answer. This has to happen.
CM – Eunan O’Kane – O’Kane is a crucial part of the way we play and for me he has been the one trying to be more physical, when Phillips should be the one putting himself about. I don’t think we would go too wrong with Klich in with Vieira but that’s maybe too much of a change.
RWB – Gjanni Alioski – A role he is very familiar with as he plays it at International level. He played it a couple of weeks back away at Italy in a 1-1 draw and it could help us get up and down the pitch as a unit. He can certainly do the defensive work and get up and support the attack, custom-built.
LWB – Stuart Dallas – Speaking of custom-built for a roles for players, Stuart Dallas is perfect on the other side, or even the right. He isn’t getting game time and he’s deserved some given the performances of others recently. Can tuck in without the ball and get up when we do, stamina not an issue.
CAM – Samu Saiz – Has been the one shining light in recent weeks but nobody has been able to raise their game to his level. If we can get him on the ball today and try to get him in the final third we can create chances, something we simply haven’t been doing.
ST – Pierre-Michel Lasogga – The striker has barely been in the games in recent weeks and needs to be looking to link play more. With a partner the pressure is off him so he can drop in and help us move between the lines. Finding a partner for him is the issue.
ST – Kemar Roofe – Finding a position for Kemar Roofe is the big question. This season he has been at his best up front and playing with Lasogga would give him the freedom to roam and create as well as link up and run the channels.