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20/21 Matchday Thread

That Fat Centre Half

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All kicks off tonight then with Watford Vs Middlesborough. Full opening day Fixtures are:

Birmingham Vs Brentford
Wycombe Vs Rotherham
Bournemouth Vs Blackburn
Barnsley Vs Luton
Bristol City Vs Coventry
Cardiff Vs Sheffield Wednesday
Derby Vs Reading
Huddersfield Vs Norwich
Millwall Vs Stoke
PNE Vs Swansea
QPR Vs Nottingham Forest

Some of the more interesting games for me: Chance for Wycombe to get off to a good start with what you would think would be one of the easier games this season against a fellow promoted side. Huddersfield is an interesting one, looked very poor last season, have a new manager who seems to have been hired because he worked with Bielsa and not much else. Pretty tough game first up with Norwich expecting to be challenging this season.

For our part I think Barnsley away is a tough start for me, they were excellent toward the end of the season and I think will make further strides this with Struber in charge, would be happy to take a point out of that to get us off the mark and build from there.
 
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Atavistic

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Absolutely no idea what to expect tomorrow. Huddersfield seem to have changed a few things up over the brief break and we've bought in a ridiculous amount of new faces. On paper, we should have the attacking quality to blow teams like Huddersfield away but with so many new players to integrate, the hangover from our miserable relegation last season and question marks over Farke's tactical approach I can see us making a slow start here.

I'd like to see more new signings in from the start, but knowing Farke he'll steadily bed those players in and mostly stick with those who were already here. That'll probably see us line up something like this, if I had to guess:

GK: Tim Krul
RB: Max Aarons
CB: Christoph Zimmerman
CB: Ben Godfrey
LB: Xavi Quintilla
CDM: Oliver Skipp
CDM: Kenny McLean
CAM: Kieran Dowell
RW: Todd Cantwell
LW: Onel Hernandez
STR: Teemu Pukki

With players like Placheta, Hugill, Sorensen, Sinani and hopefully Gibson (though may well be a while before he reaches match fitness) on the bench. A lot of strength in depth, especially with Buendia to return for the next match after his suspension.
We should be able to win, but I'm feeling like we'll only manage a draw here.
 

That Fat Centre Half

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Both yourselves and Watford seem to have ridiculous depth in the squad. The fact you had 15 odd players missing and still fielded what looked a capable championship team last week was seriously impressive i thought.

Saw the Watford squad list this week and some of the players they have coming back from loan spells in La Liga and the like many of whom are extremely highly rated....tough to think they wont be right up there this season although it pains me. I would be expecting both of you to be vying for automatic promotion this season.

It's a crazy league though so you never know but the depth of the squads is mental.
 

Super_horns

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Well I don't think we will get much tonight looking at that team.

Seems a lot of our players might still go including the lads who have come back from Spain.

Suddenly feels a bit depressing and weak squad wise .
 

Kenneth E End

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Both yourselves and Watford seem to have ridiculous depth in the squad. The fact you had 15 odd players missing and still fielded what looked a capable championship team last week was seriously impressive i thought.

Saw the Watford squad list this week and some of the players they have coming back from loan spells in La Liga and the like many of whom are extremely highly rated....tough to think they wont be right up there this season although it pains me. I would be expecting both of you to be vying for automatic promotion this season.

It's a crazy league though so you never know but the depth of the squads is mental.
Or the stockpiling of players is an indictment of football in this country?
 

Super_horns

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I think this game shows we aren't really that great if you take out all the "names"

Do well to hold on here.

Lack of quality passing wise.
 

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Two weeks to go, two weeks to Watford. Please let them play that side.......
 

Kenneth E End

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Well I don't think we will get much tonight looking at that team.

Seems a lot of our players might still go including the lads who have come back from Spain.

Suddenly feels a bit depressing and weak squad wise .
I’d fancy our chances against the side he put out last night. Dare I say it’s all going to end up in tears very quickly with the management side.

As for transfers, I’m sure Udinese A will be more than having their say...
 

Super_horns

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Don't believe everything you read in the Mail.

I think he will get a good chance to manage the team in his own way but certainly won't be clear what type of squad we will have till October which isn't very helpful.

The swapping between us and Udinese is old hat to an extent.

Get the odd transfer but not to the same levels.
 

Kenneth E End

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So Barnsley (A) for us to start - really tough game, but we took 4 points off them last season. I suppose it's a good one to start with for both sides, but even on day 1, because of where each are expected to finish, to lose would probably be considered slightly crucial.

Barnsley appear to be a bit of an unknown quantity - they've signed a couple of players from Central Europe who seem to have a good background. We have certainly strengthened in defence and in the wide areas, although still not convinced we have enough firepower up front other than Collins and Cornick. Cameron Carter-Vickers is a big loss though - he simply headed everything that came his way.

Sluga didn't play for Croatia - having been there myself this week, I'm hoping he has come back from Paris unscathed as the coronavirus is absolutely rampant there at the moment. With only a couple of sessions under his belt, it wouldn't be surprising to see Shea retain his place after an accomplished performance against Norwich. Lockyer played 180 minutes for Wales and kept two clean sheets this week, so you can't say any better than that.

I'd suggest we may go with this side today...

GK Simon Sluga
RB James Bree
LB Rhys Norrington-Davies
CB Tom Lockyer
CB Sonny Bradley
DM Glen Rea
CM Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu
CM Elliot Lee
RF Jordan Clark
LF Harry Cornick
CF James Collins
Subs: James Shea, Martin Crainie, Ryan Tunnicliffe, Matty Pearson, Luke Berry, Danny Hylton, Kazenga LuaLua
Not Used: Andrew Shinnie, George Moncur, Peter Kioso
Unavailable: Dan Potts, Brendan Galloway, Eunan O'Kane
 

That Fat Centre Half

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So Barnsley (A) for us to start - really tough game, but we took 4 points off them last season. I suppose it's a good one to start with for both sides, but even on day 1, because of where each are expected to finish, to lose would probably be considered slightly crucial.

Barnsley appear to be a bit of an unknown quantity - they've signed a couple of players from Central Europe who seem to have a good background. We have certainly strengthened in defence and in the wide areas, although still not convinced we have enough firepower up front other than Collins and Cornick. Cameron Carter-Vickers is a big loss though - he simply headed everything that came his way.

Sluga didn't play for Croatia - having been there myself this week, I'm hoping he has come back from Paris unscathed as the coronavirus is absolutely rampant there at the moment. With only a couple of sessions under his belt, it wouldn't be surprising to see Shea retain his place after an accomplished performance against Norwich. Lockyer played 180 minutes for Wales and kept two clean sheets this week, so you can't say any better than that.

I'd suggest we may go with this side today...

GK Simon Sluga
RB James Bree
LB Rhys Norrington-Davies
CB Tom Lockyer
CB Sonny Bradley
DM Glen Rea
CM Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu
CM Elliot Lee
RF Jordan Clark
LF Harry Cornick
CF James Collins
Subs: James Shea, Martin Crainie, Ryan Tunnicliffe, Matty Pearson, Luke Berry, Danny Hylton, Kazenga LuaLua
Not Used: Andrew Shinnie, George Moncur, Peter Kioso
Unavailable: Dan Potts, Brendan Galloway, Eunan O'Kane

Unfortunately no Lockyer today and Bree still only on the bench. I guess they haven’t been with the squad that long which counts against them but not great to have 2 of what most would say is our strongest back 4 (on paper) not starting the first game. I like him but Pearson just gives me fits at this level. Little disappointed not to see Clark start over Lee given the quality he gave us off the bench last week but gives us something later in the game.

Looking at the team I think it’s another sit back, keep it tight and look to nick something type game approach again from us.
 

Kenneth E End

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There must be something else in it, because he has to at least get into the 18 - hopefully not Covid related...

At least one team will be penalised by coronavirus on international breaks.
 

Kenneth E End

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Happy new season! Birmingham couldn't buy a point (as much as they would like try under FFP) at the end of last season and now they're into injury time beating Brentford 1-0. The Championship is back...
 

That Fat Centre Half

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There must be something else in it, because he has to at least get into the 18 - hopefully not Covid related...

At least one team will be penalised by coronavirus on international breaks.

He has been out on the pitch pre match doing a session with Adrian Forbes according to the local journo so cant be anything serious.
 

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Disappointing start for us to go down 1-0 to a stoppage time sickener, I felt a draw would have been fair but RUFC took their chance and it is what it is.

The game was long on midfield scraps and physicality but short on real quality, but probably no real surprises there. It kind of had the feel of a first-leg playoff semi with both teams playing a pretty cagey game and neither really going for it on the attacking front.

It'll take some time for Ainsworth to work out what his strongest XI is at this level, but we were without both Akinfenwa and new signing Ikpeazu through injury so we didn't have the "big man up front" option really available that we would ordinarily.

Anyway, not too worried about the performance, but we just have to forget the result and move on.
 

Kenneth E End

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A competitive 0-0 at Oakwell - very even I'd say.
 

That Fat Centre Half

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Thought we had the better of it for first 20 mins or so, Collins missed a really good chance and since then it’s been very even between the 2.

Berry and Pelly having decent games in midfield is helping us. At the moment most likely goal source is Barnsley’s set up from Goal kicks! I know the short goal kick is in vogue right now but the way they set up for it - by knocking short to a right footed centre half on the left hand side - is asking for trouble.
 

That Fat Centre Half

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Fully deserved 1-0 win at Oakwell. Felt we had the better of the play in what turned out to be a scrappy game and a fantastic finish from Collins the only real moment of quality in the final 3rd from either side.

Really pleased with how solid we looked defensivley as well, bar one heart in mouth moment from a back post header that Sluga and RND covered well I dont recall Barnsley threatening at all. A marked change from last season.
 

Kenneth E End

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Collins 4th for the season so far - I'm sure he's still not good enough for Ireland with the amazing goalscorers they have at their disposal...

Thought on balance we just about shaded it, but Barnsley are going to struggle playing like that. They need to stop the passing amongst the back four which doesn't work. Friesler missed a header at the end that he should've put away. In the final third they are really lacking quality - Chaplin is not a Championship starter. Apart from that header, Sluga wasn't really troubled throughout.

Really impressed with Rhys Norrington-Davies... I think he's really going to push Enda Stevens next season at Sheffield United.
 

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I thought Glen Rea was a little off his normal exceptional self and while still good it affected our attacking fluidity and we were very long ball. Lee did little, Pelly drifted from exceptional to average but worked his socks off and i love him as with Berry. If LuaLua can produce for 90 or Ckark? our left side looks good with RND and Capt (was he? i know Jones likes Rea too) Bradley was amazing.
 

That Fat Centre Half

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Saw a few people say that about Rea and I dont really get it. In possession Rea isnt, and has never been, anything special. He has always been a "get it, give it" type of player who just makes simple passes. Its what he does out of possession, screening the back 4 and cutting midfield passing lanes, is the reason he is in the team and the a primary reason why Barnsley created nothing of note.
 

Kenneth E End

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I thought Glen Rea was a little off his normal exceptional self and while still good it affected our attacking fluidity and we were very long ball. Lee did little, Pelly drifted from exceptional to average but worked his socks off and i love him as with Berry. If LuaLua can produce for 90 or Ckark? our left side looks good with RND and Capt (was he? i know Jones likes Rea too) Bradley was amazing.
Rea was a little off colour, but he started slowly last season too. He will do fine. Pelly had a brilliant game for me as well as the whole back four. For me, Pelly is a £5m player...

I'd have Clark in the side every time over Lee; I personally think he and Hylton were lucky to get contracts and it hasn't really allowed us to improve in that area.
 

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Doesn't sound like it was that pretty from us today, but I'll absolutely take a winning start and a clean sheet given our nightmarish post-lockdown run. Good to see Idah get himself on the scoresheet as well, and he continues to look more and more promising whenever we see him in the yellow and green.

Hopefully we'll start to become more cohesive as the season progresses, as it sounds like were a bit iffy in that regard.
 

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Thought we deserved more away at Bristol City today. Aside from conceding after 23 seconds we were absolutely excellent in the first half. Looked more than comfortable making the step up from League One. Really unfortunate that we had to use up our subs so early, one unavoidable with Kelly's injury, and one annoyingly unnecessary due to Hamer's rashness leaving him one foul away from a red. Meant that we had no-one to bring on when the legs started to go with 15 to play and Bristol City just over-powered us in the end. Encouraging start ends in defeat.
 

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Thought we deserved more away at Bristol City today. Aside from conceding after 23 seconds we were absolutely excellent in the first half. Looked more than comfortable making the step up from League One. Really unfortunate that we had to use up our subs so early, one unavoidable with Kelly's injury, and one annoyingly unnecessary due to Hamer's rashness leaving him one foul away from a red. Meant that we had no-one to bring on when the legs started to go with 15 to play and Bristol City just over-powered us in the end. Encouraging start ends in defeat.

Yep, deserved at least a point. Better side for most of the game.

Very pleasing that we've maintained the same playing style and were not afraid to keep the ball and play in those triangles.
 

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A little something that caught my eye in our highlights yesterday. At around 5:30, after Stearman's awful "backpass", keep an eye on the very bottom of the screen. Look at that insane burst of pace from Placheta on the left wing! Have we got ourselves the fastest player in the league? If so, what an option to bring off the bench against tiring legs, or even one to alternate with Hernandez.
 

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For the second season running, highest expected goals on the first day, hit the woodwork multiple times, but lose to Birmingham 1-0.

Our early season form cost us last year, we were 1st on form from game 9 onwards. Unfortunately it’ll probably happen again this year while we continue to have transfer issues - the likes of Benrahma and Raya not playing yesterday.
 

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For the second season running, highest expected goals on the first day, hit the woodwork multiple times, but lose to Birmingham 1-0.

Our early season form cost us last year, we were 1st on form from game 9 onwards. Unfortunately it’ll probably happen again this year while we continue to have transfer issues - the likes of Benrahma and Raya not playing yesterday.
Very glad we're playing you early!
 

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