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We all thought that the first 6 games looked tough. To be unbeaten after half of those is not bad at all👍

I guess I shouldn’t draw too many conclusions from BBC Stats or a 6 minutes highlights package, but it seems to me to be a sounder base to work from than few of the rabid assessments on here.  We went

Canna wait to have Bogle and Lowe at fullbacks! Max MOTM for me today.

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I fear the re-emergence of Derby's "oh they are in terrible form we're bound to beat these... Oh poo.... They beat us" tendency that we've had fir absolutely years.

A draw would be OK, a win great, a loss can't be ruled out, but won't be the disaster the later stages of this thread might lead you to believe.

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I feel like this is a game where Bogle's absence will show to be a huge factor in the final result. On our right hand side I feel as if we will be vulnerable. Max Lowe is good but its not his primary position.

I think Tom Ince will be a massive threat as per and they are gonna put their arses on the line for this. At home, for their first win of the season.

Lets prove to them we're not a pushover. COYR

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Well done for trying to overcome the tRampling of the matchthread etiquette. Hope the chaos is over by the time most read this and the alternative thread has been merged into here (mods!).

It's been such a good, purposeful start. Only one goal conceded which gives me confidence when all great managers build from the back and create the strong spine. Bielik looks as if he'll be a big part of that, and I think he should start to continue to build match fitness - maybe an hour in that position.

We need to add to the creativity and ruthlessness up top. When you see the skill of Marriott's take down (Bergkamp-esque) against Scunny and know what he's capable of, how can you not start him? Bogle and Holmes are out so Lowe continues deputizing at right back. I think a very fluid 4-2-3-1 is how it'll look. I'd probably play this starting 11 but I suspect Cocu will swap in Josefzoon for Marriott with Waghorn moving more centrally:

Roos

Lowe     Keogh     Clarke     Malone

Evans       Bielik

Waghorn     Dowell      Lawrence

Marriott

Subs: Hamer, Shinnie, Huddlestone, Davies, Bennett, Josefzoon, Paterson

That would mean no place for Buchanan or Knight which is a tough call. I'd expect lots of rotation across the front four.

Meanwhile, let's hope Tom Ince isn't buoyed by his first goal all year last weekend. Eek!

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23 minutes ago, Carl Sagan said:

Well done for trying to overcome the tRampling of the matchthread etiquette. Hope the chaos is over by the time most read this and the alternative thread has been merged into here (mods!).

It's been such a good, purposeful start. Only one goal conceded which gives me confidence when all great managers build from the back and create the strong spine. Bielik looks as if he'll be a big part of that, and I think he should start to continue to build match fitness - maybe an hour in that position.

We need to add to the creativity and ruthlessness up top. When you see the skill of Marriott's take down (Bergkamp-esque) against Scunny and know what he's capable of, how can you not start him? Bogle and Holmes are out so Lowe continues deputizing at right back. I think a very fluid 4-2-3-1 is how it'll look. I'd probably play this starting 11 but I suspect Cocu will swap in Josefzoon for Marriott with Waghorn moving more centrally:

Roos

Lowe     Keogh     Clarke     Malone

Evans       Bielik

Waghorn     Dowell      Lawrence

Marriott

Subs: Hamer, Shinnie, Huddlestone, Davies, Bennett, Josefzoon, Paterson

That would mean no place for Buchanan or Knight which is a tough call. I'd expect lots of rotation across the front four.

Meanwhile, let's hope Tom Ince isn't buoyed by his first goal all year last weekend. Eek!

Some really tough calls there.

Did Marriott do enough on Tuesday to get a start on Saturday?

I think Cocu’s biggest dilemma is the midfield and whether to bring in Bielik or not.

Unlike Marriott, it sounds like he made a real impression on Tuesday.

Does Cocu stay patient and stick with Huddlestone and Evans, and if not who drops out?

It’d be harsh on either player to be dropped.

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3 minutes ago, GenBr said:

@Jourdan I don't think its a dilemma at all whether to bring Bielik or not - if fully fit he has to start. The dilemma is who he replaces and for me after another good performance for Evans against Scunthorpe it has to be Huddlestone who makes way.

Of course, eventually Bielik will be the main man, and don’t get me wrong, I also fully expect him to start on Saturday.

But it all depends on Cocu’s approach - he might say to Huddlestone and Evans, the shirt’s yours until you give me a reason to take it from you.

We are unbeaten in all competitions, so how great will Cocu’s desire be to change things?

It’ll be interesting to see.

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30 minutes ago, GenBr said:

@Jourdan I don't think its a dilemma at all whether to bring Bielik or not - if fully fit he has to start. The dilemma is who he replaces and for me after another good performance for Evans against Scunthorpe it has to be Huddlestone who makes way.

Dowell and Hudds have not done brilliant. Evans more defensive. I would drop Hudds. Scoring goals is the issue.

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1 hour ago, Jourdan said:

Some really tough calls there.

Did Marriott do enough on Tuesday to get a start on Saturday?

I think Cocu’s biggest dilemma is the midfield and whether to bring in Bielik or not.

Unlike Marriott, it sounds like he made a real impression on Tuesday.

Does Cocu stay patient and stick with Huddlestone and Evans, and if not who drops out?

It’d be harsh on either player to be dropped.

To be honest I thought other than Bielik the player who made the biggest case for a start was Knight.

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Roos; Lowe, Keogh, Clarke, Malone; Bielik, Knight, Dowell; Waghorn, Marriott, Lawrence. 

Stoke aren't in the best of shape at the minute. Maybe the win in the cup will give them a little boost. I wouldn't be too upset with a point and a good performance. Get an early goal, they'll crumble and the fans will turn. 

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1 minute ago, DcFc Dyycheee said:

Roos; Lowe, Keogh, Clarke, Malone; Bielik, Knight, Dowell; Waghorn, Marriott, Lawrence. 

Stoke aren't in the best of shape at the minute. Maybe the win in the cup will give them a little boost. I wouldn't be too upset with a point and a good performance. Get an early goal, they'll crumble and the fans will turn. 

I think this is the first big test for Cocu, Twan, Chris and the boys.

This is the kind of game we tend to falter in - we are always that team who lends a helping hand to a team out of sorts.

If we can win and win well, it would be a massive statement of intent from us.

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