I was surprised by Daniel Farke on Saturday because he chose to play two defensive midfielders. I was only surprised because I would’ve done exactly the same thing and I thought that our Head Coach had a philosophy and he wanted to stick to it, no matter what.
I suppose that shows he’s prepared to change if needs be, which is good and Daniel Farke is nothing but not flexible. The fact he went to Plan C for that game impressed me. The defence needed some help and that’s why he chose Tettey and Trybull as a shield for the back four.
Burton Albion will be an entirely different proposition though and I fully expect Farke to go back to either 4-1-4-1 or maybe 3-5-2 for tonight’s match. Nigel Clough will demand a reaction after his side’s mauling at Leeds on Saturday, so I don’t expect them to be a push over.
With that in mind, I’m going to choose a team to face Burton, one that I think would do the business and get all three points. I’ll go 4-1-4-1 because I think that’s what Farke will pick and I’d give Alex Tettey’s knees a rest.
Angus Gunn – the goalkeeper picks himself, ’nuff said.
Ivo Pinto (c) – another easy pick and he also keeps the Captain’s armband after a decent display in the role on Saturday.
Timm Klose – another definite and an easy pick after a man of the match performance against Birmingham.
Christoph Zimmermann – the big man did nothing wrong alongside Klose and seemed to grow in confidence as the game went on. Grant Hanley probably isn’t fully match fit, so Zimmermann keeps his place.
Marco Stiepermann – another who had a very good game against Birmingham. He was defensively sound and played some nice balls forward as well. Inspires a lot more confidence in me than James Husband.
Tom Trybull – a very promising debut against Birmingham sees the German keep his place as the holding midfielder. His passing and desire to win and have the ball were welcome.
James Maddison – the young man needs to add a few pounds of muscle, I’d say, but has the technical ability to unlock many a defence and deserves his place.
Mario Vrancic – had a solid game against Brum and played some nice through balls. Possesses a great left foot and is slowly finding his feet.
Wes Hoolahan – the wizard will be needed as I expect Burton to look to sit deep and try to soak up pressure and look for the odd counter. He starts nominally on the left but I’m not expecting too much threat from the Brewers and his eye for a pass will be crucial.
Josh Murphy – put in as good a defensive display as I’ve ever seen from him against Birmingham but it’s his attacking skills that will be needed here. The only real genuine pace outlet in my starting XI so he needs to make use of it.
Nelson Oliveira – the passionate striker is currently on fire. As rich a vein of form as he’s ever had in England, probably in his whole career to date and that sees him as the only real choice to be the striker in my side.
So, that’s my starting XI.
Anybody think different? I’d like to hear from you if you think you’d change anything.