We’re inviting our Twitter friends, and now resident thought sharer Iwan Lehnert, to share some of their ‘Pre and Post Match’ thoughts with us from now on. If you want to share, get in touch! You can still enjoy my nonsensical, confusing, punctuation buffets below their proper good ones…
I know that every team can get diddled with their fixtures when trying to marry European flings and domestic routines, but we’ve got to praise whichever footballing deity decreed that this game was to be played on a Monday night. Considering that Real have 2 Clasicos and a game extra than us to contend with before the 2nd leg, we’ve gotten off quite lightly.
Not only that, but we’ve done alright with the draw, too. A home tie against another league club is, shockingly enough, quite welcome. Unless you’d rather be travelling off to Elland Road, Boundary or Ewood Park…? After the fourth round, I’m happy to be coming up against a team we know well. You’d hope that there wouldn’t be a repeat of that 3-4 from December, and to be honest, I don’t expect one because we’ve been (mostly) powering through each game with the minimum amount of fuss and bravado for a little while now. It’s the time for it, I guess. I doubt our self-destructive tendencies won’t rear their engaging head again before the season’s done, but we’re scoring first, looking assured and have tightened up. Tidy.
With last Wednesday in mind, expect a whole load of changes. Hernandez, Young, Nani, Cleverley, Anderson, Smalling and Buttner will all hopefully get a game and we can give Carrick, Van Persie and Evra a nice warm seat on the bench along with a nice biscuit. It’s not bigheaded to say that we can make around 6/7 changes and still expect to pick up a result, although I can see why people might think we’re taking them lightly by not starting the best striker in the league we paid £20+ million for. And if it wasn’t for the likes of Hernandez being so wonderfully clinical then I’d agree with them.
To be honest, of the team’s mired in the bottom three, I’d say Reading have the best chance of staying up. They’ve shown more fight than QPR, and probably have more quality. I feel pretty monotonous stating that I don’t expect an opposition team to be a pushover, but they won’t be. After that great comeback at the Madjeski last month, they won’t fear Chelsea in the next round, either.
Speaking of which, what a quarter final that could be if we win. That talk of Frank Lampard still feels unrealistic, because on this sort of form, Chelsea would have to be mad to get rid of him. I mean properly nuts. I mean you can see where I’m going with this.
Prediction: 3-1. Hernandez scores. Everyone looks happy.
I used to have a bit of time for Reading, but no longer: Not only do they actively employ Jason Robo-berts the humanoid sent from the future to play football in basic algorithms – ripping the beauty out of it from the inside; there’s also their sponsors which bring out the inverted snob in me (let’s not go there again). AND Brian McDermott looks the spit of my Uncle Claude, who has recently become a Jehovah’s Witness, something I hold Reading entirely responsible for (applying footy maths).
Fergie reckons are squad is stronger than ’99 – I’m sure he’s said that before -, so let’s prove it by stuffin ‘em, the swines!
Prediction: 3 – 1
Goals: Chicha 2, Cleverley