02-21-2012, 11:01 AM
(02-20-2012, 09:09 PM)ElMago99 Wrote: Ibra will most likely not be available, as well as Boateng, which puts us in a pickle. I'm not crazy about Maxi Lopez, but your points are valid. I think we could counter attack a lot better with the 3 I suggested, but I'm sure Allegri will probably start Maxi Lopez. Plus, there's no rule that means we must have a big forward to hold the ball. Italy plays with Cassano/Rossi up front, and Barca never use a big Man.
It's not so much we need a big man up front, just someone who can lead the line. Robinho and El Shaarawy both like to drop deep and start plays from deep, meaning they work best when there's someone further up to play off of. Ibra drops deep too, but generally speaking he will look to press the opponents backline, which is why Robinho often has space to play on the left or behind when paired with Ibra (he will push up to lead the line when Ibra drops deep on occasions). I know Maxi's not a great player, but for what he brings to our side, I think he will have to start if Ibra's out.
Speaking of which, Ibra's 50/50 imo at this point, but we must be prepared to play without him. Likewise, Boateng also probably won't be back, though if Urby can somewhat replicate his performance vs Cesena then he will be a viable alternative (it'll have to be a more tactically disciplined performance needed though).
About Barca and Italy playing with less references up front, let's not forget that the teams (especially Barca) often rely on runners from deep pushing up into the spaces left by the forwards to fill the void. Our midfield doesn't do this as much as really we only have Nocerino who's capable of it.
Finally, just a general point but it looks like Pato should be fine for this game, as he was rested as precaution on Sunday. If he's match fit, then he could be a good contender to lead the line if Ibra's out.