What can I say that hasn’t already been said, seemingly everywhere else on the net?
Except that the whole scenario and atmosphere is building; so much so, that frankly my ring is twitching severely already.
We all know the difference between promotion or not and the latter doesn’t bear thinking about, as you have to question how we’d manage with another season in the championship.
We face a typical Pulis team that will try to take advantage of set pieces and they seemingly have Traore firing on all cylinders. We know how scary he is when running at you and if he comes back to bite us on the proverbial, I’ll probably be ranting, as I loved the look of him and could see the player in there.
Hopefully Hutton will keep him out of the game, as I suggested last week.
Team news then and Pulis has said he’ll play the same team as last week, so no surprises.
As for us, Taylor is out, as is Tuanzebe.
Johnstone should be available, but will travel seperately to the team bus, as his missus is about to give birth to their child. What will happen if the big event is due a few hours before the game, is another question.
Where will Johnstone’s loyalties lie? The biggest game he’ll have ever played in or sit and watch your first-born arriving?
That might seem a simple question to the younger among you, but I know plenty who would have put the job first when I was younger, particularly when they NEEDED to earn a crust just to pay the bills.
I doubt Johnstone will have that problem, so could probably understand if he doesn’t make the game.
So what to think?
Well, for me, it’s the away result that will decide this semi.
We need to come away with at least a draw ideally.
We might be able to pull a one goal deficit back. But if we were to go into the home leg 2 goals down, I’d really fear for our chances.
I just think that we have enough to see Boro off though, over two legs and the Pulis factor isn’t quite what some seem to make out. Remember the two consecutive cup and league games not so long back?
Yes, all the play-off contenders are scary in their own way, but I have to think we’re capable of beating them all on our day.
It just depends if the team are on it or not, as consistency is not our forte.
I’m going for a 1-1 draw, which would leave me satisfied, but wondering how we break them down at a rocking Villa park.
And it’s the home support that will be a major advantage that none of the others have.
Did I read right that boro still had a couple of thousand tickets left this morning and Pulis was practically begging the fans to turn out?
Surely not and maybe more mind games from Pulis?
I still stand by the fact that the third placed team should go up, as the league is judged over a season.
And a tournament was never part of the original idea.
I despise those that have made it this way, just for the money.
A slight aside, but my Derby mate and I have agreed that if we eventually meet up at Wembley, we’re going together to make a weekend of it, with one of us laughing and the other crying.
Unfortunately, I don’t see Derby having a hope in hell, but I’m off to watch the game as we speak.