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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Eleven Games to Go...Bristol City

Just eleven games left now before the season ends and another 8 wins is still not enough to get us into the 80's, the very minimal for a automatic spot. So therefore aiming for 8 wins, a draw and just 2 bad days in the last two months of the season what better start today than the arrival of top-dogs Bristol City.
After analysing Bristol's form yesterday, there's nothing left but to cover the players.
Star man, above, for Bristol is Number 35, the 6' 3" Nigerian striker Bamberdele Adebola, 'Dele' to his mates. He's now 32 and has been around with Crewe, Birmingham, Palarse and Coventry and he joined Bristol in January for an undisclosed fee. Scoring 29 in 122 games at Crewe, 29 in 128 at Birmingham and 31 in 163 at Coventry, he's also started well at Bristol with 3 games in only 6 games.
Another big number at 34, is the Jamaican international Darren Byfield from Birmingham who's played for Millwall and the Gills and is this seasons top goalscorer with 8. Captain Louis Carey is rumoured to be suffering from an ankle injury and won't play while his right-back teammate Bradley Orr, who was sent off in August 2006 for attempting to head-butt Carey, is unfortunately also missing. They've also got a Brazilian goalkeeper in Adriano Basso who has just been voted BBC West player of the year....
Manager Gary Johnson, apparently up against a 'Premiership' side and keen to get started, will leave Byfield on the bench and play the same 4-4-2 side that beat Hull 2-1 at the weekend:
Adriano Basso; Ian Wilson, Jamie McCombe, Liam Fontaine, Jamie McAllister; Ivan Sproule, Lee Johnson, Marvin Elliott, Michael McIndoe; Nick Carle and Dele Adebola.
Turning our attention to the Addicks, it'll be a surprise if the back 5 are changed after a pleasing and determined performance at Sheffield and the only decisions that Pardew has to make will affect his formation and attack.
Beefing up the midfield with a 4-5-1 at Bramall Lane was the obvious option after the 5-3 mauling at Bloomfield Rd but this is a home game and the last time he played that format at home was the debacle against Colchester on January 1st with Iwelumo as lone striker.
After containing Sheffield the midfield also looks clear with Holland, ZiZi and Ambrose which leaves just 3 places up for grabs. There's no news about the 'illness' that has kept Gray, just voted second-best player in the fizzies, after Kevin Phillips, out of action which could be a ploy to keep the opposition guessing. Gray's already scored against Gary Johnson's side this season back in September for Burnley.
New boy Scott Sinclair is also looking for a start but Pardew will probably opt for Thomas on the left after his full 90 minutes on Saturday.
So expect a line-up of;
Weaver: Halford, McCarthy, Sodje, Youga; Ambrose, ZiZi, Holland, Thomas; Varney and Iwelumo.
Subs: Elliot, Fortune, Semedo, Sinclair, Gray
And a prediction? Killer sees it as a 2-1 home but Pards will be more keen on stopping them from scoring as they are still unbeaten when they score first. That said, a single goal will be enough for me, a 1-0 with Sodje scoring again.

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