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Everything posted by 2426255

  1. Ukraine have essentially finalized a 26-man squad after cutting 5 players who attended a training camp in Slovenia. They are expected to play a friendly match on the 26-May against DR Congo as they make their final preparations for the playoff games. https://en.uaf.ua/article/45188
  2. I'm sure it's been said but what a hero Aaron Ramsey is.
  3. Yeah, Ukraine are building up great momentum and confidence. The manager new manager is really getting a lot out of the team and they look better than the team that was on display at Euro 2020.
  4. Liam Henderson is a playing against Ukraine tonight.
  5. A bit unusual, but great dedication! I wonder if Steve Clarke has played a part in this or if they are just doing it off their own backs and also if other players will filter in at the end of their club seasons too.
  6. I haven't seen Tavares to be honest. The move as a whole just doesn't make sense to me, so I probably am missing some part of the picture.
  7. Jack Hendry came on after 27 minutes and scored as Club Brugge came from behind to beat Royal Antwerp 3 - 1 and win the Belgian Pro League. Club Brugge manager Alfred Schreuder will take over from Erik Ten Haag at Ajax which means Jack Hendry will have his third manager in less than a year and a chance to re-establish himself in the starting XI for next season. Also, noticed Ryan Porteous played as the Left sided centre-back for Hibs yesterday - he might be worth considering as backup for Kieran Tierney in the future should he perform consistently well there.
  8. I would be surprised if Aaron Hickey was going anywhere as a backup given that he turned down Bayern Munich in favour of Bologna.
  9. I watched the first half of the Denmark game in Copenhagen today for the first time (I had missed it when it was live). Our shape appeared to be a mirror of the normal shape we play. I remembered someone, either @accies1874 or @Jambomo saying we had a sort of L-Shaped midfield for that game, but I suspect we often have an L-Shaped midfield. Callum McGregor fulfilled the role John McGinn plays except high and centre-left instead of high and centre-right. Kieran Tierney was pushed high on the left in a similar way that Nathan Patterson often positions himself on the right. This allowed Scott McKenna to play Scott McTominay's role - often filling the space vacated by Kieran Tierney as he pushed higher. Billy Gilmour and Kenny McLean played the double pivot role off the centre-right that would normally be played by Billy Gilmour and Callum McGregor off the left. I think the fact we had different players playing the roles made it stand out more. I sped the video up (McGregor, #8; McKenna, #14; Tierney, #6).
  10. Ukraine play at Empoli on Tuesday, wonder if Liam Henderson will play in that match. https://empolifc.com/martedi-al-castellani-lempoli-ospita-la-nazionale-ucraina/
  11. I'm not quite as confident. I'd say it's more of a 50:50 game even if Scotland have home advantage. Their current manager took over after the Euros and has got them to a good level. I watched their recent games against Bulgaria (H), Bosnia (A), France (H) and Monchengladbach (A). They were good in all of those games, quite an attacking set-up and better on the ball than Scotland. That said, Bosnia and Bulgaria really were rubbish and France were clearly better so I haven't seen a game where they have met a team around their level - I think the playoff game will be that. Match sharpness only has the potential to affect their home-based players which in general make up roughly half of their starting team. I think we will have to play close to our best to win.
  12. Agreed, winning the playoffs and finishing 2nd or 3rd in the NL would be an acceptable return.
  13. To be fair it's not anything the players aren't used to - it's weekend + midweek matches which is the norm at the highest level of football so I don't think it's a particularly big deal. I wonder if we'll carry a bigger initial squad than normal. The schedule in terms of travel could have been horrific, but it's good with most of the games in the UK and ROI.
  14. Jack Hendry back for Club Brugge, played the full 90 as they went top of the table tonight!
  15. Yeah, I'd say Bushchan, Matvienko, Zabarnyi, Stepanenko are certain to start against Scotland, also a fair chance for Shaparenko and Mudryk so that's potentially half the team right there. They won 2-1 tonight and I think they have another game scheduled against Rijeka and maybe also a lower Serie A team.
  16. That team looks well geared for physical, route one football. I hope that isn't our approach. They are really good with the ball from what ive seen. If we don't keep the ball well this will be Croatia part 2.
  17. I re-watched the first half of the Austria game where John McGinn scored an overhead kick and to be honest I forgot how well Scott McTominay played that night. It was the first time for a while that we saw him in midfield. He was physically dominant, energetic and his passing while not so creative was very direct and accurate. I think that performance tells us he is capable of bringing something to the midfield, I don't know why we haven't seen it more. His performances against Israel and Czech Republic were considerably more controlled and passive.
  18. I had a looking at how Ukraine play. I have the full 90 minutes of their friendly against Bulgaria from November 2021. This video focused around their pivot (Sydorchuk, #5) and how they build their play because that was what I was looking at anyway with Scott McTominay and the cover shadow stuff. In that game they played with two centre-backs, full-backs high and wide, a single pivot supported on each side by a shuttling midfielder - all behind a front three. I believe this approach was not previously used by their manager. They played a little like Croatia did against us, patient in possession waiting for the chance to work fast combination plays or fire direct and diagonal balls in behind the Bulgarian defence. I thought some of their passing and moving looked quality.
  19. Aaron Hickey was involved in the March preparations centered around the playoff games, Ryan Fraser was not. Ryan Fraser has more experience playing the RWB role with Scotland than Aaron Hickey. It's risk/reward and maybe a bit of horses for courses depending on Steve Clarkes game-plan. My personal preference for the first two matches is to start players who've been playing within the system consistently since Euro 2020 and know their team-mates w.r.t the runs they make and the positions they take up etc. I haven't watched Aaron Hickey enough to know the reward for the risk of starting a newcomer to the squad. I think there are fair arguments for any of Ryan Fraser, Stephen O'Donnell, Nathan Patterson or Aaron Hickey to start. I admit I have an inclination towards Ryan Fraser.
  20. Both are options in amongst the collection of names including Anthony Ralston, Paul McGinn and James Forrest etc. Stephen O'Donnell and Aaron Hickey were involved in March which was centered around the playoff games, Preparation time at the end of the season will be minimal and that immediately puts them top of my list if Nathan Patterson and Ryan Fraser aren't available. Stephen O'Donnell knows the role at Scotland and his team-mates. It takes time to build up such relationships and so Aaron Hickey would introduce some unpredictability to the team. Risk/Reward, we have seen him make a similar call previously with Billy Gilmour that worked well.
  21. I'm going to keep using these words partly because I now know it annoys folk on these boards.
  22. Stephen O'Donnell returned from injury to play for Motherwell today so is the obvious choice at RWB should Nathan Patterson be out of the picture and John Souttar made it to the bench today for Hearts at Celtic. Ryan Christie, Lyndon Dykes and Jacob Brown played their final games of the league season and so should be safe from picking up an injury ahead of the June games.
  23. I don't expect David Marshall to be selected for June's Scotland squad and I'm guessing he will have to establish himself as #1 in pre-season wherever he goes if he plans on making the September squad and ultimately Qatar (assuming we have made it through the playoffs). Both Liam Kelly and Craig Gordon have made the choice to move to Scottish clubs where they are the established #1 which has aided their National Team careers.
  24. David Marshall to leave QPR at the end of the season. It's a shame how it all worked out in the end especially after it started so well at QPR, but David Marshall is basically back at square one. Not sure where he will go next but maybe a club in the SPL would be something worth considering at this point. https://www.qpr.co.uk/news/club-news/six-players-to-depart-qpr-060522/
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