A short match review today as we look ahead to the final champions league game in the group stages. We’ve already mathematically qualified which is a huge step forward in the rebuilding project, but we’ll be looking to end the group stage phase on a positive note tonight as we face Royal Antwerp away from home. Live from 9pm local time.
As we look ahead to this game, even though there isn’t a lot riding on it, its still a game we have to take seriously. And given the result on the weekend, id imagine there would be quite a lot of anger and frustration coming into the match. We need to use that wisely. So, instead of looking more in depth at the opponent, I’m going to be explaining what i want to see from tonight’s game. Most specifically in terms of the lineup. So lets jump straight into it.
What I would like to see:
For me, the story of our season so far has been how wasteful we’ve been in front of goal. It’s quite embarrassing to see the amount of chances we create on the regular in every game, just for the majority of them to be wasted. We have to cut that out. It isn’t even funny anymore because quite frankly its costing us valuable points in every competition. Defensively we have to do better, that’s a given.
But our wastefulness in front of goal is really infuriating. Overall, I don’t think performances this season have been as bad as people have made them out to be. But when you’re not scoring goals, it makes the overall performance seem worse than what it actually is. Fact is, we have to be more clinical. We can’t keep going through games, creating an abundance of chances and scraping through only putting one or two of them away. It’s still early on in the season, so tweaks can be made, but this is definitely something we need to improve on.
That’s why in tonight;s game vs Antwerp , I would rest most of our usual attackers. Freshen things up. There’s no reason for Lewandowski, Raphinha or Felix to start vs Antwerp . We’ve got Marc Guiu on the bench, as well as Lamine and Ferran. Give them a chance. In midfield, id also be looking at giving Pedri a rest and possibly Gundogan too. Frenkie isn’t in the squad due to a fever so it really does give us a chance to experiment and just try something different. In defence, I would definitely be giving Cancelo a rest and putting balde straight back into left back.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen him start and this is a great chance for him to cement himself back in the eleven again. I’d also look at starting Cubarsi and Hector Fort too. Pena is the only one id expect to keep his place. And possibly Christensen too. Giving us the chance to rest Kounde and Araujo.
Fort- Christensen- Cubarsi- Balde
Fermin- Romeu- Garrido
Yamal- Guiu- Ferran