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Banana skin or banana?

We deservedly lost this fixture last year so not a gimme three points.

Will Rothwell be back?

I would start with the same eleven who started at Brentford. Controversial view but I thought Downing wasn't his normal commanding self at Griffin Park.

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Nearly bottled it in the end but basically walked it at their place. They were very poor and we were unlucky to have to try and find a winner in the first place.

They've improved but not by too much. You have to beat a team in their position at home if you want to finish in the top half, let alone anywhere near the Top 6. Brentford performance showed a bit of guts so not too worried they won't show up for this, and Joe Rothwell should add some well earned and well received pace and energy into the side. Again like Brentford, if Sam Gallagher starts, I see it as a bit of a dud, maybe 1-1. If he has the balls to stick with Samuel, Armstrong, and bring Rothwell into that, then 3-1 Rovers is my prediction.

Prediction:
Blackburn Rovers 3-1 Stoke City
(Downing 20', Armstrong 59', Armstrong 80') (Campbell 67')
Att: 13,343

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Id try and stick with a similar side to that of late. My only concern would be that the Brentford game was a tough game and Johnson and Downing may be in need of a rest just 4 days later. The rest should be fine. Please do not bring Bennet back in. 

If Downing and Johnson do need a rest until saturdays Id like to see Davenport and Chapman come in. 

 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, JoeH said:

They've improved but not by too much. You have to beat a team in their position at home if you want to finish in the top half, let alone anywhere near the Top 6.

Yeah, this is exactly right. It's alright putting in good performances against the clubs around us, but you have to put the poorer clubs to the sword too if you want to seriously challenge for promotion. We've gotten ourselves into a great position over the past couple of months and back-to-back home wins would really set the cat amongst the pigeons as far as the run in is concerned, and announce us as genuine contenders for a playoff spot.

I think this game and the following Swansea match will be huge in determining where our season goes from here. 

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Just the kind of game we usually struggle in and slip up however i think we have enough about us at the min to nick it.

Rovers  1    Stoke  0

 

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Can't help but feel this one is huge. I'm not one for "must win" games, but in a way I feel this is as a win would be great momentum with another home game coming up. 

The problem is we could easily draw the next 2 , so winning this is a must I feel. Anything less than 4 points from the next 2 and we are going to have a job to do. PNE have 2 very tricky games coming up. We must capitalize. 

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I think we'll have too much for Stoke. They can't even perform in Stoke on a cold, wet Wednesday evening in February, let alone in east Lancashire. 3-1 to Rovers, possibly after going behind. Arma, Downing, and one of the centre halves to notch.

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I feel the team merits a little shaking up for this one. Buckley wasn't great, and doesn't suit playing a wide role at all. Samuel might lose his place. He was barely involved against Brentford, though a lot of that was also our lack of attacking nous. Between the two of them, you can be certain Gallagher will be back in the team. Not saying it's what I'd do, but I feel sure it'll happen. Personally, I dont mind seeing him given another shot up front, but after TM's comments I expect it'll be out wide again with senseless 'diagonals' being sent to him.

Don't know if this is a game too soon for Johnson to play again, he isn't the fittest.

Edited by bluebruce

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1 minute ago, bluebruce said:

I feel the team merits a little shaking up for this one. Buckley wasn't great, and doesn't suit playing a wide role at all. Samuel might lose his place. He was barely involved against Brentford, though a lot of that was also our lack of attacking nous. Between the two of them, you can be certain Gallagher will be back in the team. Not saying it's what I'd do, but I feel sure it'll happen. Personally, I dont mind seeing him given another shot up front, but after TM's comments I expect it'll be out wide again with senseless 'diagonals' being sent to him.

Don't know if this is a game too soon for Johnson to play again, he isn't the fittest.

Ya, I think you have it there, it will be Gallagher for Johnson and then Downing to CM and Gallagher to the wing. 

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This will require a different side to our game than that shown at Brentford, Charlton and Fulham.

They are going to be hard to break down and will probably be happy with a point.

These are the ones 

If the play offs are a serious possibility we need to win. No ifs or buts. I keep hearing about our remaining fixtures and this lot at home are just about as kind as they get.

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Stoke a better side than the one we played earlier in the season and fighting for their livres.

People debate "must win" games but these are the ones you really need to win with us 5 points behind.

Tony will play it cautious as usual. I see another Wigan. This has 0-0 written all over it. 

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This is indeed where we struggle, Mowbray admitted as much on the LT the other day. Can't remember the article. He said we struggle when teams sit in and we need to be creative. So, at least he is aware of it. Which makes me think Rothwell will actually be back in..

                    Walton

Nyambe  Lenihan  Tosin  Bell

          Downing Travis 

JRC                            Rothwell

       Gallagher Armstrong 

or 

                   Walton

Nyambe  Lenihan  Tosin  Bell

          Downing Travis 

  JRC  Rothwell Armstrong

              Samuel 

       

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Samuel needs to keep playing.  We cant keep swapping and changing the forwards. He's not played for 2 years so must have loads in the tank....I reckon a proper match sharp DS will be a perfect partner for AA, but Tony's problem is that he can't leave alone.  I expect Bennett and Gallagher to start and i think we either draw or lose. 

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Stoke seem to be a mood side. Hot them hard with a high tempo start and we should be ok. This fixture last season was probably one of our worst performances with no excuses.

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The next two games actually are must wins in the scheme of things. 2 home fixtures against teams any promotion chasing squad should beat.

Nothing to fear about with Stoke really. They aren't the best side. We should see plenty of the ball so would like to see us start with the same team. I think this is more a game for Buckley. Do understand though that changes will have to be made. Samuel is just coming back from injury so 3 games in a week may be a bit much. Start with Gallagher in his place, he looked lively when on against Brentford with a good few flick ons and runs at the defender.

A win + clean sheet. 2 - 0. Arma to get his usual goal 15 minutes into each half.

 

 

 

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The problem with Stoke is they have better players than where they are, plus a good manager(albeit not proven at this level). His honeymoon period looks to be over anyway, that's if he ever really had one. Rightly we have nothing to be afraid of though. We must hit them hard from the off with our intensity. Can't see them coming back if we score first. 

Edited by Bigdoggsteel

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4 minutes ago, Dreams of 1995 said:

The next two games actually are must wins in the scheme of things. 2 home fixtures against teams any promotion chasing squad should beat.

 

 

 

 

 ^_^ Ha you’ve asked for it now! Literalists incoming...

Edited by Mattyblue

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2 minutes ago, Mattyblue said:

 ^_^ Ha you’ve asked for it now! Literalists incoming...

I think they are too. I suppose people can argue they aren't, but if we only get 2 points from the next 2 games we can forget about the play-offs IMO. 

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1 hour ago, jim mk2 said:

Stoke a better side than the one we played earlier in the season and fighting for their livres.

People debate "must win" games but these are the ones you really need to win with us 5 points behind.

Tony will play it cautious as usual. I see another Wigan. This has 0-0 written all over it. 

This is my fear also...Wigan and Brum should  have been nailed on home bankers.

Seems a psychological problem for us at times,we fail to raise our game against lower placed teams.

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I think it's because we are good on the counter attack,but when teams sit deep it nullifies our quicker players. It's games like this we need Dack

I wonder if Dack was fit would we be even higher in the league, or maybe the opposite. Hard to know! 

Edited by Bigdoggsteel

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2 hours ago, Bigdoggsteel said:

                   Walton

Nyambe  Lenihan  Tosin  Bell

          Downing Travis 

  JRC  Rothwell Armstrong

               Samuel         

Walton

Nyambe    Lenihan    Tosin    Bell

Travis    Johnson

Rothwell                        Downing

Samuel   Armstrong

 

For me I'd sooner Armstrong and Samuel play as a top two, like they did against Charlton for most of the game.

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5 minutes ago, JoeH said:

Walton

Nyambe    Lenihan    Tosin    Bell

Travis    Johnson

Rothwell                        Downing

Samuel   Armstrong

 

For me I'd sooner Armstrong and Samuel play as a top two, like they did against Charlton for most of the game.

This would probably be my team too.

Having two strikers buzzing around, with both a pace and crossing threat from the wings seems like the way to go against a team that might defend deep at Ewood. That's where the 4-2-3-1 has come unstuck over the past couple of seasons in games against Millwall, Wigan, Brum etc in which we dominated but couldn't create enough clear cut chances.

 

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18 minutes ago, JoeH said:

Walton

Nyambe    Lenihan    Tosin    Bell

Travis    Johnson

Rothwell                        Downing

Samuel   Armstrong

 

For me I'd sooner Armstrong and Samuel play as a top two, like they did against Charlton for most of the game.

Ya,I would go with that actually 

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6 minutes ago, Don Said said:

This would probably be my team too.

Having two strikers buzzing around, with both a pace and crossing threat from the wings seems like the way to go against a team that might defend deep at Ewood. That's where the 4-2-3-1 has come unstuck over the past couple of seasons in games against Millwall, Wigan, Brum etc in which we dominated but couldn't create enough clear cut chances.

 

Strikers buzzing? Crosses? Pace? 

Can't wait for Wednesday 

*Bites nails nervously* 

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