Tight upcoming schedule

Starting from Sunday, we will be playing a match every 3 days until 30th of September before the international break. The last one on the 30th will actually be 4 days, but still, it’s a very tight schedule and hopefully we can make a good use of it.

The matches are as following (September):

17th vs. Girona (away) - 3 points would be nice

20th vs. Las Palmas (home) - Vitolo revenge, beat the bastards

23rd vs. Atletico (away) - toughest so far bar Liverpool, a draw would do

26th vs. Maribor (home) - CL, should win comfortably

30th vs. Malaga (home) - nothing but 3 points

So, will we be able to get around 10 points from the 4 league matches? The 3 points in CL vs. Maribor at home shouldn’t even be discussed.

I was entering the schedule in the Wordpress site the other day and was amazed at the tight schedule. Limiting injuries is going to be key.

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If we get 10 from 12 we will probably be leaders, nothing wrong with that. And, we’re recovering players nicely, almost at full strength now. Also, I fancy our chances against Atletico in their new stadium.

Disquiet over Muriel, if I remember correctly, Bacca didn’t score a league goal until game 6 in his first season. I seem to remember we were bottom on the weekend of week 5, we played Almeria at home, were losing 0-1 and then turned it round to 2-1 with a header by Rakitic after good work by Marko Marin in minute 91.

After that, Bacca started to score and the team climbed the table rapidly, I hope that Muriel can do likewise.

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Are you going to do a forecasts post Chris?

I think we can get 10 points out of 12 too. I fancy us to win tomorrow. We have most the squad fit and think we will have too much for Girona. However, it’s still a test because we need to win away games like this if we want to challenge the big 3. We can’t afford sloppy games like the early 1-1 draw with Eibar we sufferred last year.

A big test for the players and manager is to turn those draws or narrow losses into wins. Getafe was good win, albeit a bit fortune but our record wasn’t great there but we got a vital win against a newly promoted team. Now hopefully we can do the same. Never easy to play them early.

The home games, look great on paper. Both las palmas and Malaga are struggling so it’s a great opportunity to get 6 points in them. We strong at home and with our squad and quality we should get them.

Atletico is the big test. However, like Tim says it may benefit us that they moved stadium as they won’t have adjusted to it by then. Our record in the Calderon wasn’t great either so I think this increases our chances. I’m glad we don’t visit their first though, as there will be an extra buzz about them tonight as they playing their first match against Malaga.

Probably the best champions league game we could of had next. Nice chance to build on the Liverpool draw and get 3 points. All in all it’s a busy schedule but the games are not the toughest but we need to make our quality count. It’s a great opportunity to maybe be early leaders of the division, which we never been top at any point since 2007. We will see!

Also, just a quick word on nolito and pizzaro. How long are both out for? The quicker we get them back, the stronger we will be. Think everyone else is fit.

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Squad for Girona

Sergio Rico, David Soria, Mercado, Corchia, Carriço, Lenglet, Carole, Nzonzi, Geis, Banega, Ganso, Vázquez, Montoya, Ben Yedder, Muriel, Sarabia, Krohn-Dehli, Correa y Borja Lasso

No Pareja, Kjaer, Escudero nor Navas

I’d forgotton about Montoya, this will be a laugh if we start with Borja Lasso, Carole and Montoya. I’d start a strong 11, go for the game and put the lesser players on late.

Gotta get Mudo and MKD some game time.


Some great tactical analysis in Spanish re: Sarabia and Nzonzi here:
Sarabia, antídoto contra el desorden

Definitely not impressed with Pizarro, yet, but willing to give him some time. I think their analysis is right on that Mudo is going to be critical in competing for a spot, ditto Krohn-Dehli

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Definitely would like to see Mudo feature soon. Wouldn’t be surprised if Berizzo starts him vs. Girona, along with Ganso maybe and of course since Escudero’s out, we’ll see some Christmas Carole.

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With Ganso, Banega and Mudo there’s too much creativity perhaps, I have loved it when they are on together but not convinced it’s for this game. After saying that, Banega was null in the Liverpool game so he’ll probably have the game of his life today.

Strange that Ganso got a standing ovation when subbed off against Eibar, then he doesn’t make the bench for Liverpool.

It looks certain that Carole will start, a gamble as he hasn’t played before, but Berrizo could have a different lineup in mind. I read an interesting article that suggested Nzonzi needs to be more solitary, that Escudero cramps his style and Nzonzi cedes too much possession to Escudero while he’s better taking control of the midfield on his own and directing play to all sides,

I think we need to tread carefully in Girona and monopolize the centre and control of the game. Mudo will start I think and I believe Ganso will be sacrificed. Montoya confuses the hell out of the opposition and that is his best attribute but how can that work if Sarabia is playing. These are all the complications of having such a tremendous squad, there are really too many combinations that might work, a good problem to have provided there’s always an alternative solution on the bench.

Give Muriel the nod, It’s time for him to lead the line.