Today marks the last match between a natural measuring point of the season, namely, the first half of the league campaign. So far, I don’t know if it is accurate to say I have ‘no complaints’ but stepping back and looking at the big picture I’m exceedingly pleased. We have been hard to beat, well organized, and have weathered all manner of injuries to find ourselves in heavy contention for a Champions League place.
It bears in mind where we stood at this point last season. We were in 9th place, on 28 points, with 33 goals scored and 26 against. Our goalscoring has eased off some, perhaps predicable given the loss of Santi Cazorla, but our defense is allowing less than a goal a match and that I think has provided the difference. Capping off a great first half with a win against Granada seems important, from my perspective, to set the stage as we go forward into the ‘business end’ of the campaign.
This is a bit odd. I see Capoue, Parejo, and Trigueros all included. I look at the back line and see Albiol, Pau, and Pena. Are we going five at the back here? What exactly is Juan Foyth doing in this lineup? Gerard is of course a gaping absentee, issues with his left leg apparently. I’m not entirely sure where Moi fits in given the fact that we have no real right winger.
I’m sure I’m missing something obvious but I really feel like I’m completely missing the shape here. A sort of 4-5-1 or 4231 perhaps with Foyth at RB and Pena in midfield? Paco has made the bench. This should be an interesting one.
I don’t know that I’ve been this caught off by a lineup all year.