Baines a doubt for Palace clash

, 25 September, 18comments  |  Jump to most recent
Leighton Baines is touch and go to be fit to face Crystal Palace on Friday after picking up a hamstring problem last week.

The fullback was not risked in either the EFL Cup tie against Norwich or in yesterday's defeat to Bournemouth, with Ramiro Funes Mori and then Bryan Oviedo deputising in the two games.

While the injury isn't thought to be serious, Ronald Koeman said it will be a "close call" for Baines to make it for the televised clash against the Eagles in five days' time.  

Reader Comments (18)

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Denis Richardson
1 Posted 25/09/2016 at 10:38:18
If it's a close call with a hamstring injury surely that would mean he's not risked.

I would be tempted to go with three centre-backs like at the start of the season and play Coleman and Oviedo as wingbacks and give Lukaku support up top. It would allow us to switch from 5-3-2 to 3-5-2 depending on the game. One of Mirallas, Valencia or Deulofeu can partner Lukaku.

Barkley could do with a couple of games on the bench, imo.

Derek Knox
2 Posted 25/09/2016 at 12:59:33
Which bench do you mean Denis?

A Stanley Park bench springs to mind, and he's not alone there.

You can understand one or two players having an 'off day', but basically it was almost the entire team, for two matches on the trot!

Just when you think they are going somewhere, they revert back to being mediocre at best.

I will be very surprised to see them beat Palace at the weekend, or am I being too, pessimistic/realsitic?

George Cumiskey
5 Posted 25/09/2016 at 17:26:47
No, Derek, you are spot on.
Craig Fletcher
7 Posted 25/09/2016 at 19:01:06
Agree Denis. Rest Baines for this Friday and then he'll have two weeks off over the international break to get back up to speed for the game v Man City.
Mark Morrissey
8 Posted 25/09/2016 at 20:52:02
2-0 and back to second in the league. I'm ever the optimist. I think the next 5 days with RK should sort their heads out. It's purely mental. They have the ability. It's having the will, the desire, the fire in the belly, that's what he has to engender in them. Keep the faith.
Mark Morrissey
9 Posted 25/09/2016 at 21:17:39
I'd love to see Koeman give Tom Davies a full run-out on Friday.
Ernie Baywood
10 Posted 25/09/2016 at 22:07:20
Derek 2 - yes, far too pessimistic. We're a short priced favourite for the game. I fully expect us to beat Palace at home. I'll be very disappointed if we put in a performance like Saturday's as I know they're capable of better.

I'm surprised that you would be surprised if we beat them.

William Cartwright
12 Posted 26/09/2016 at 02:38:07
Would be good to see tom Davies. Also could Holgate be a part of the team too? I would like to see Dowell given a start too or would that be too much youth and energy into the system in one go . . . . . . . ?
Ernie Baywood
13 Posted 26/09/2016 at 03:33:23
If we don't have Baines then we need to find another way to fill that gap on the left side of midfield.

That might be by telling our wingers to do a more defensive job. Or it might be by bringing Holgate or Funes Mori into a 3 and give the full backs licence to play a bit further forward.

We can't expect Oviedo to do Baines's job. He's not close to that level.

Marco Solakof
14 Posted 26/09/2016 at 05:42:54
Give Holgate a go at fullback.
James Stewart
15 Posted 26/09/2016 at 07:17:56
This is a big problem because, in my opinion, Oviedo is not good enough.
Nigel Munford
16 Posted 26/09/2016 at 07:55:01
Pessimistic, I'm with Ernie, we have to be optimistic, 13 points from 6 games, averaging over 2 per game. If some one had said that at the end of last season we'd all have been amazed; early days.
Rafizi Ariffin
17 Posted 26/09/2016 at 10:09:30
I'm just wondering... Baines did not play in the last 2 games... Coincidentally, we lost both games... Hmmm... Come on, Bainesy!! We need you to play this Friday.
Dan Egerton
18 Posted 26/09/2016 at 10:14:34
Bring back Galloway!
Dave Pritchard
19 Posted 26/09/2016 at 11:10:59
Good comment, Dan, about Galloway. I can understand the thinking that he will get more game time at WBA and come back to us with more experience but, since Oviedo's injury, he hasn't looked anything like a good enough replacement for Baines. Also, as Baines himself is not the player he was, Galloway would have been a good player to have in our squad this season.
Ernie Baywood
20 Posted 27/09/2016 at 00:39:37
I'm not sure Galloway would solve the problem either. Very good defender but the way we play needs someone who can step into midfield and make an extra man. Not sure if that's Galloway just yet.

Which leaves me feeling that, despite having plenty of decent left backs, were actually a bit light in that area. Unless we go back to something resembling a 4-4-2 in defence and midfield.

Damian Wilde
21 Posted 27/09/2016 at 12:01:42
I like Oviedo, but don't think he should be Number 2. Brendan Galloway could have slotted in here. We should have sold Oviedo and kept Galloway; we need to continue to get rid of deadwood.
Abhishek Saha
22 Posted 28/09/2016 at 03:09:05
If Baines not playing, then it is 3-5-2 / 5-3-2 for me.

Jagielka, Williams, Funes Mori
Coleman, Barkley, Barry, Gana, Bolasie
Mirallas, Lukaku

3-5-2 when we have the ball, 5-3-2 when they have the ball.


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