I’m laughing to myself.
Why? Because whatever I think now is invariably wrong.
Last time out, I predicted we’d beat Brighton quite straightfowardly as we were away and our guests were poor.
I did have the sense to moderate things though and said that anything could happen.
Except nothing happened really, did it? as we didn’t really show up at all.
So looking at things logically, we face Leicester at home. That’s the first reason we’ll lose.
And then there’s the fact that Leicester are one of the most incisive sides in the league. If they get chances, they’ll score. And they’ll probably get plenty of chances.
So it will be a stern test for our defence, which I’ll find particularly interesting.
I’ve consistently stated my dislike for Mings, but I keep coming back to our defensive record which is actually very good. Those two things are not compatible and either the defence gets severely caught out or I have to accept that Mings must be better than I think he is. We’ll no doubt see.
Squad news and the big one for us is that Cash will probably be out for “3 to 4 weeks” after being injured.
Given the club’s previous predictions regarding injuries, I’ll take that to be six or seven weeks then.
Which brings us nicely on to Wesley, who’s close to fitness, but not close enough for the squad.
Nothing else has changed.
As for Leicester, they’re in pretty good shape too, with Ricardo Pereira and Timothy Castagne both being available, although it’s doubtful they’ll start.
It’s guessing game time then and I’m still laughing.
Cash being out is a big blow. Guilbert going out on loan doesn’t look so clever now, but it’s obvious Smith dislikes or just doesn’t rate him, so Elmo will come in. That’s not a problem in the slightest for me, as he does have a very decent cross in his toolkit and I know many of us would like more of our play to come down the right, to balance our game up.
Unfortunately, Elmo doesn’t offer the same energy, which for me means he’ll need more help, which in turn means Traore is less likely to play. I think I’d prefer to see Trezeguet come in for his workrate. The trouble is there, as much as I rate him and thought he’s one of our best goalscorers, he’s gone on to also prove me totally wrong and be totally useless in front of goal.
And then there’s Barkley. Will Smith drop him for Sanson? It’s easy to call for it, but the manager will surely be aware that this will be a tough game for a newcomer to come into?
I personally would tell Barkley I’m giving him the first half and if he doesn’t perform, he’ll be taken off.
I’ll bet many don’t agree with that, but it’s obvious there’s a “must play” clause or Smith just doesn’t want to drop him. Hence I’m just being realistic as to how Smith might be thinking.
It’s all pretty academic though, isn’t it?
If we play as poorly as we have done in the last few games, I think we’re onto a hiding.
Something like 4-1, as we play a team that shows up our performances for what they have really been.
But as we’ve seen over many a game this season, things won’t pan out as I think they will.
I expect us to improve. It’s difficult to see how we couldn’t, in my opinion.
But I still expect us to lose even so.
I’m going for a 2-1 defeat.
Hopefully my generally horrendous prediction run continues and I’m wrong again.