After a nice weekend off, we re-engage in the battle for forth in earnest against Swansea. I watched their game against Watford as I suspect many of you would have as well, 85 minutes of being dominated and riding their luck and then they pulled off a remarkable turnaround.
It was the dreaded new coach bounce; we now have to make sure that their bounce doesn’t reoccur this time at their home. We have to face two matches in three days and both look potential banana skins, somewhat ridiculously our re-arranged game against West Ham follows this game on Thursday and we can be certain that against us they’ll be up for it.
Poch has to plan for this fixture congestion, as Football does, it now throws up the prospect of Llorente facing his old club as Harry tries to get over one of those winter debilitating bugs. I was told this morning that even if he declares himself ok to play, chances are he won’t start and we will try and given him a bit more recovery time for Thursday’s game.
So a game without Harry starting
Carlos Carvalhal was a surprise left-field appointment, and he’s started well with that 2-1 away win against Watford and against the odds.
Their confidence will have improved for that ‘I think this win is a step forward,’ Ayew told the club’s official website. ‘Now we have to keep going and push to get more results’ he continued:
‘Football is all about confidence. We know we can do better things with confidence. But, also, if you don’t work hard then you get punished. ‘
‘The new manager has only been here for two days, but he has had a positive impact. His ideas are clear and direct. He wants us to run more in the game and be more aggressive with our play. We delivered that and deserved the win.’
So we can expect them to try and match us for a high tempo and ground covered. But we have the quality and if we do start with Llorente and Lamela as I expect, perhaps along with Winks with Victor Wanyama possibly making his first appearance since August from the subs bench, we should have too much for them.
We’ve not lost against Swansea since the a league meeting in October ’82 and I don’t expect to see that change now what I do expect is them to sit deep again and try and play on the counter.
They exasperated us at Wembley as it finished a frustrating 0-0, despite us having 26 shots (just 8 on target) to Swansea’s four (0 on target).
With or without Harry, they won’t hold us at bay this time as at some point they’ll open up, and then we’ll take them apart and our march into the Top 4 will continue and jump ahead of that mob down the road.