We’re building up a decent side in the treatment room at present but at least we now know that Ledley and Billy G were not being rested on Saturday. Groin injuries and in the same training session; Billy with the last kick of the day. How unlucky is that? Nevertheless we are left with bare bones at centre back so Corluka and Bassong are forced to continue. Unlike some of you I thought they were ok and only conceded 1 goal on Saturday but I do agree that Gareth Bale was far more restricted at left back.
A lot of twitter chat on Sunday suggested Walker should have been given his chance but a month’s loan at QPR put paid to that. As he is not selected for our Champions League squad that argument disappears for the FC Twente game so it’s a straight choice between Bale and Ekotto for the left back birth. It all depends upon the latter’s fitness. If he is fit – and I thought I saw him jogging on Sky Sports News earlier – then Bale can be unleashed, if not Gareth stays in the back line. If Benoit is unfit quite how this impacts upon our attack remains to be seen but it is a home game and we may be able to utilise Bales skills adequately.
I see Hutton continuing at right back and that provides an opportunity for Harry to decide if Lennon plays or sits on the bench. With the exception of one mazy run at West Ham that opened them up completely he was very quiet and he needs to consider how he can provide a greater impact. If he sits out and Ekotto is unfit it maybe provides a birth for Palacios allowing Jenas to go outside right but if he does JJ must remember that tackling is not optional when opportunities dictate. A fit Ekotto will see Jenas continue with Palacios in the wings.
Huddlestone too is under scrutiny to improve but if selected can sit deeper to provide Modric and Van Der Vaart with a platform to work the Twente defence. With Bale alongside them it could be some workout and with our makeshift defence we might have to go all out attack to ensure the win.
Despite being the invisible man on Saturday I expect Crouch to start up front and I hope we bring him into the game. Crouchy gives us more instant options upfront and can assist our centre backs in defensive set pieces.
If Gomes is fit he plays but assuming that not to be the case I’m hoping to see this line up:
Hutton Corluka Bassong Ekotto
Modric Van Der Vaart Bale
Result: if we kick on and put them on the rack I go 3-1.