Here’s a quick look at the Saturday pre-season matches for Southampton, Everton, Spurs and Crystal Palace taking a quick look at form, line up issues, bargains and value
Celta Vigo 0 Southampton 0
Now the starting line up looks pretty close to a final line up. Davis started at GK and the £4.0m fantasy premier league player could be a good punt as a £4.0m back up to say Mignolet or De Gea as at least he appears to have some chance of playing. Clyne is apparently struggling with an injury and we may have to focus our Soutmapton defence on Shaw. Lovren will definitely start at CB and Yoshida got the nod here as the other CB. Ramirez gets the last midfield spot. The rest of the team was predictable.
Monaco 5 Spurs 2
Spurs: Lloris; Walker (Stewart, 88), Fryers, Livermore, Rose (Naughton, 66); Dembele (Huddlestone, 76), Parker (Bentaleb, 88); Lennon (Carroll, 80), Chadli (Townsend, 62), Sigurdsson; Defoe (Kane, 9). Unused sub: Friedel.
A central defence of Fryers and Livermore against Falcao seems totally ridiculous and I’m not sure how Spurs have ended up in this position. Last season they had 5 CBs. 2 in Gallas and Caulker have been let go and 3 in Vertonghen, Dawson and Kaboul all have some injury issues. In attack its not much better. Defoe limped off with a thigh issue and will now need a scan. Adebayor is obviously out of favour and didn’t play for some sort of personal reasons. Obviously with this as a back drop you then go and sell Dempsey while Soldado seems to be having the longest medical in transer history. It’s absolute chaos and I say that before I even mention Gareth Bale. I’m also perplexed as to why Paulino and Sandro have yet to line up.
So look at selection and the game, Rose had a nightmare with every goal seeming to come from the right with him hopelessly out of position. I’m not worried from a fantasy premier league perspective but from a Sky Sports fantasy football position he’s a very cheap defender. Attacking wise, the front 3 has 2 vacancies along side Soldado, assuming his medical ever finishes. I think Chadli will be on one side and I’m still not sure who else. Maybe Lennon or Siggy or maybe even Townsend who did his best Bale impression with a good goal from outside the box. Kane got the other with a neat finish.
In terms of form the CBs and Rose were terrible as was Lloris. Dembele, Chadli, Siggy and Townsend emerged wiith credit. 1 more game to go next weekend for Spurs and what looks like one of the easiest line ups to predict will become very difficult if all the injury and other issues overshadow the line up at home to Espanyol
Real Madrid 2 Everton 1
Everton: Howard, Coleman (Stones 82), Jagielka, Distin, Baines (Oviedo 82), Osman, Heitinga (Gibson 67), Fellaini (Barkley 67), Naismith, Kone (Jelavic 46), Mirallas (Deulofeu 82)
Subs not used: Robles, Anichebe, Vellios
Goal: Jelavic 60
Martinez who rolls out a new formation for each game this time tried 4-3-3. I can only see a back 4 until Alcaraz recovers from injury as despite teenager Stones excellent CB performance recently, it seems a risky way to start your new managerial position. Felliani, Osman and Heitinga were in the midfield 3 with Kone leading the line flanked by Mirallas and Naismith. Barkley only made a sub appearance and although there’s another game in 4 days it’s going to take a bit of a leap of faith to see him in the starting lineup. Surely the next game against Milan or Chelsea will be the final line up and formation. Howard played the full half which should rule out any shock Robles start.
Waterford 0 Crystal Palace 4
Sorry cant find any line ups for this at the moment. I’ll update later if I can. Hard to take much from such ordinary opposition although its better than their last pre-season game in 3 days against Dulwich Hamlet? Both Gayle and Dobbie scored although it does little to help us know who or if both will start. £4.5m cheapie Thomas started. Garvan came on as sub but for the moment I’m not reading too much into that as he’s got bigger issues as you will soon see.
All in all it hasnt been a testing pre-season for Crystal Palace at all with Gillingham the highest ranked opponent? And there will have to be some leaps of faith in our selections as a result.
More worrying for Grandan has to be the confusingly similar named acquisition of Blackpool attacking midfielder Elliot Garnadinwho arrives as a free agent after a loan spell in France. He only played 12 games in the role behind the striker last season for Blackpool. However, his record was record was very impressive though with 3 goals and 3 assists in 12 games but only 575 minutes. This is a return every 96 minutes which is ridiculously impressive. He was less sucessful for Blackpool in the premier league in 2010/11 (under Holloway by the way, where interestingly he was highly criticised by Holloway) with 1 goal and 4 assists in 23 games and 1500 minutes. A far less impressive stat of a return very 300 minutes. It will be interesting to see his price but it does confuse the situation definitely.
Thats it. Hope you found it helpful
Here’s the link to my GW1 fixture ease schedule: