I agree, cannot see Rose starting this. Still seemed well off the pace against West Ham, and think it will be a while yet still, before he's really firing. For now, and the foreseeable, Davies is no.1 in that position.
I'm interested to see how we might go in the middle and up top.
The back 6 is very likely to be Lloris, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen with Aurier and Davies as wing backs.
But in the middle with Dembele seemingly back fit, and Alli returning from suspension there are some big decisions to make.
Do we stick with Winks who has performed so well? Does Dier move back into midfield? Does Sissoko remain in the side in order to offer a little more directness from the middle?
Then you have similar issues further forward. Kane seems in line to start. Do we play two up top again? Does Son keep a place? Alli?
More and more I think about it, the less I can bring myself do drop Winks. Ergo, assuming Kane is fit, two of Son, Dele, Dembele or Dier miss out depending on whether we value break pace, goal threat, ball retention or ball recovery the most.
My gut tells me that when up against Madrid, ball recovery before they reach the final third will always be equally hard and the ability to ghost in to score will be more useful than the ability to charge upfield with ball like v Dortmund. I’d also suggest that the ability to keep ball under pressure out weighs the charge. Ergo, Dembele and Dele in for me, so I’d like to see:
If we win tonight we'd be on 10 points. If BVB win their final three they'll be on 10 points. And if Madrid lose tonight, beat Apoel, and lose to BVB they will also be on 10 points. As we'd have a better head-to-head than Real we will be through, it wouldn't matter what our result against Apoel or Dortmund is.
I very much doubt the above would happen but just to prove it is a fact that a win tonight puts us, or Madrid for that matter, through.
the best news overall is that ronaldo has been off all season, marcelo has been pretty poor and varane is injured , also no carvajal.They have a much weakened back line either because of injury and form so i think Son starting is a must for a quick counter.
.....and Liverpool against Maribor STILL dominates the Sky Sports webpage. Think anything relating to our Real Madrid game is about 6th or 7th story on their page! Real Madrid are in town. Ronaldo is in town. Yet the headline news story is about Alex Oxade Chamberlain. LOL
Aurier ahead ofTrips due to his pace against Marcello (and Trips can tear apart Palace at the weekend)
Kane to start as I think the media focus on him (and his performance in Madrid) will see them give us a tiny bit of respect and space.
Dembele over Winks as I'd love to see Dembele take on Modric & Kroos