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Your Team's Probable/Strongest Starting XI 2015/16

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With the new league campaign just over a week away and a fair amount of transfer business done and dusted, how's your team shaping up for the new season?


There has been quite a turnover of players this summer at Fir Park as 16 left the club in the aftermath of the play-off victory; however, most of these were fringe/squad players and didn't really weaken the team in that regard. The loss of John Sutton and Lee Erwin was a blow as it initially left us short in the attacking department, but we've filled those gaps with David Clarkson and Scott McDonald - our striking partnership from ten years ago - returning to the club. The team therefore has an 'old school' feel with these two likely to start up front along with Lasley and Pearson as our midfield partnership:


------------------Twardzik------------------


Law-----Laing-----McManus-----Hammell


Ainsworth---Lasley---Pearson---Johnson


-----------Clarkson---McDonald-----------


On paper this looks like a decent starting eleven. It's the formation that was used to such devastating effect in the play-off as Ainsworth and Johnson tore their defence to shreds with fast-paced counter attacks. Granted, the standard of opposition we'll face in the Premiership on a weekly basis is considerably higher than that offered by Sevco, but I feel these two have the potential to unlock defences and created chances for the new (old) striking partnership. In defence, McManus was a weak link for much of last season before going some way to redeem himself with an outstanding performance at Ibrox; we've signed Kieran Kennedy as a backup option in case he's not up to the mark again. Twardzik is a much better option in goals than George Long who was directly responsible for giving away several cheap goals in his short loan spell.

The team looks decent enough, but it's very difficult to make any predictions about how well we'll do as all the teams outwith Celtic can beat each other on their day. Certainly, I can't imagine anyone would have predicted us going from 2nd to 11th in the space of a year. Hopefully it won't come to that this time - although if it means another demolition of Sevco in the play-off, I won't be complaining!

What's your team's strongest/most likely starting eleven for the new campaign?

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In the opener at Celtic, I expect:

Scott Fox

Marcus Fraser | Scott Boyd | Andrew Davies | Jamie Reckord

Michael Gardyne | Stewart Murdoch | Ian McShane | Raffa De Vita

Jon Franks

Craig Curran

That's the first choice back 9, plus two grafters up front to hound the Celtic defence. I'm guessing that purely on a hunch because it was the strarting XI in a recent friendly. Tony Dingwall didn't play in that friendly due to shin splints but I have also have a hunch that the team was built for him in behind Curran and perhaps Jim was thinking of Dingwall for the Celtic game.

Jim tends to go for an extra central midfielder in a 4-1-4-1/4-3-3 shape against Celtic, but there's been no hint of that formation in pre-season so far. Maybe this Saturday's friendly will tell us more.

By fixture #2, I expect Brian Graham or Liam Boyce to be starting instead of Franks. Boyce and Graham are on paper the best forwards, so you would expect them to play together, yet Curran's workrate tends to be the glue that keeps the 4-4-2 system together.

Fox

Fraser Boyd Davies Reckord

Gardyne Murdoch McShane De Vita

Graham Boyce

Edited by bunglebonce

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------------------------------MacDonald-------------------------------

Westlake------ Connolly---------- Zaliukas ---------------Smith

-----------------Slater ------------------Robinson--------------------

McKenzie----------------------------------------------------Obadeyi

----------------Higginbotham------------------------------------------

---------------------------------Boyd-------------------------------------

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Tough for us as, unlike last season, we actually have options all over the park. I'd also argue that we could easily line up either 4-4-2 or 4-5-1/4-3-3 without too many issues.

I'd personally like to see us go 4-3-3, in a similar fashion to the year Lomas took us to third with the following;

Mannus

Mackay Anderson Wright Easton

Davidson Millar Craig

Wotherspoon Sutton O'Halloran

Millar sitting in, with Craig and Davidson allowed a little more freedom to push forward. I'd ask Craig to help cover the left back and allow O'Halloran to attack more than defend - his pace is incredibly dangerous, particularly on the break. That solid base also allows Wotherspoon and O'Halloran to drift, which has caused teams a lot of trouble in the past. If we want to go 4-4-2, move Craig to the left, Spoony back a bit and O'Halloran through the middle beside Sutton.

We've got so many players missing out with that line up though - Clark, Shaughnessy, McKay, Scobbie, Caddis, Brown, Lappin, Cummins, Kane and Maclean will all fancy their chances of getting into the team and staying there. We still have a winger to bring in too.

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Probably....

Gordon
Lustig Boyata VVD Izzy
Brown Bitton
GMS Armstrong Johansen
Griffiths*

*Until biteys ban is lifted most likely

Hopefully Deila favours GMS over the utterly overrated James Forrest. Still need a decent LB. Izzy is alright on the overlap but absolutely sh*te at being a defender.

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"Twardzik is a much better option in goals than George Long who was directly responsible for giving away several cheap goals in his short loan spell."

Because Dan didn't/doesn't give away cheap goals?

We picked up more points and conceded less with Long in goals.

There's a reason we're looking for another goalkeeper and it's not as a backup to Dan. We've apparently got at least another two signings to go, a goalkeeper and a centre midfielder assuming we get those deals done then it's doubtful Twardzik will be in goals for the first game of the season.

I doubt Clarkson will start either it'll be one of either Moult or Fletcher. I don't see much of a change in the back as those 4 have played together and the midfield picks itself at the moment.

GK TBC

(Twardzik if we haven't brought anyone in)

Law Laing McManus Hammell

Ainsworth Lasley Pearson Johnson

McDonald Moult

Edited by capt_oats

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Cerny

Miller-Frans-Seaborne-Booth

Osman - Bannigan

Lawless - Stevenson - Amoo

Doolan

I would expect that with what we have just now. Even with new signings which there hopefully will be, the only change I can see is Doolan dropping out for a new striker, and maybe Amoo and Lawless switching wings since I'm not sure what side Amoo actually plays on.

Edited by oneteaminglasgow

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Cerny

Miller Frans Seaborne Booth

Osman Bannigan

Amoo Stevenson Lawless

Doolan

(that won't be the line up on day 1 as Lawless is suspended and Stevenson / Seaborne may not be fit).

As much as I love Dools, we need another striker to rotate with him but I think we'll probably end up getting someone in on loan on August 31st having persevered with Doolan or Stevenson up front for the first few games.

Edited by Fuctifano

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Correct. Although Amoo will be on the right.

Lawless is suspended for the opener so his place will probably go to Elliott, maybe McDaid.

Seaborne's not played a minute of pre-season yet so I'd imagine Lindsay will start if he's not fit yet.

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Guest

Considering Reynolds is injured at the moment:

Ward

Logan - Considine - Taylor - Shinnie

Pawlett - Jack - McLean - Hayes

McGinn

Rooney

Goodwillie has quite a bit to prove this season but he was decent last Thursday

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Seaborne's not played a minute of pre-season yet so I'd imagine Lindsay will start if he's not fit yet.

He played against Dumbarton. Lindsay didn't make Saturday's squad because of injury.

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Even though we lost a few of our key men over the summer. I still believe we have decent enough players to progress in europe and push for top 6, and retain te cup :)

Strongest starting 11 would probably be

--------------------------------------------------ESSON (Brill, when fit)------------------------------------------

-------------RAVEN----------------MEEKINGS------------WARREN-----------------TREMARCO----------

-----------------------------DRAPER----------------------------------------TANSEY--------------------------------

------------DORAN------------------------------CHRISTIE-----------------------------ROBERTS-----------

-------------------------------------------------FORAN/LOPEZ---------------------------------------------------------

And bench would be Ferguson, Brown, Devine, O.F.Williams/Esson, Vincent, Wedderburn, Lopez/Foran

Edited by Murphyscot

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Welsh will probably play somewhere if he's fit.

He's still the club captain, and Archie has a massive boner for him.

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Think ours will be along the lines of

Fon Williams

Raven Meekings Warren Tremarco(although I liked Williams playing there)

Draper Tansey

Christie Vincent Doran

Lopez

Brill could be back in goals once he's fit, Roberts will challenge Doran for a place

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I don't really know to be honest (and I don't know if JMc does either!). I've tried to start writing out a team but then keep on changing it. I suppose it depends on how good some of the new signings are but we also have a large number of still pretty unproven youngsters who will feature this season.

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--------------------Macdonald------------------

Westlake----Findlay----Connolly-----Smith

----------O'Hara----------Robinson------------

Magennis----------Higgy------------Obidayi

----------------------Boyd---------------------------

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Even with Reynolds fit, I think Considine might have nailed a centre-back position by then rather than being moved to accommodate him. He was outstanding in Croatia, and as good as he's been at LB he's not going to get up and down the pitch as well as Shinnie.

I would actually like to see Pawlett being given a deeper role alongside Jack, with McLean playing off the striker, but it's unlikely to happen. Either Flood or Robson will partner Jack when Shinnie is in defence.

Ward

Logan Taylor Considine Shinnie

Jack Flood

McGinn Pawlett/McLean Hayes

Rooney

Brown, Quinn, Smith, Robson, Shankland, Goodwillie gives us a very strong bench.

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GK – Scott Bain

RB – Paul McGinn

CB – James McPake

CB – Thomas Konrad

LB – Kevin Holt

CM – Paul McGowan

CM – Kevin Thomson

AM/LC – Greg Stewart

AMC – Gary Harkins

AM/RC – Nick Ross

ST – Kane Hemmings

Sorry for the champ man positions but we don't really have any width so I expect our "wide" midfield options to be quite narrow with full backs bombing on - we need to be careful leaving space behind as we suffered with this last season.....

Holt is apparently dece at getting forward although McGinn could do some work on it - option of Gary Irvine / Cammy Kerr as cover - Irvine may even start....

CH is a conundrum. Konrad/McPake have their flaws but did ok last season and are solid enough if not amazing. Meggatt and Julen as cover although a lot of people expect Julen to start - I have seen 0 of him so far so don't feel comfortable replacing Konrad with him. We also have Gadzhalov who I would happily nevr se on the park.

Thomson is different gravy on his day, McGowan IMO our most important player last season. When Thommo is broken and Gowser is in Bell Street nick we have Nicky Low and perma crock Simon Ferry as cover - IMO we could do with another player but Jimmy Mac knocked us back, as did S. McGinn. Gadzhalov can apparently play here - I'd rather play his Mrs. We also have Harkins who could drop back as well as could Ross.

Greg Stewart was immense from the left last season and shite when up top - no brainer. Ross looks a good player and Caley fans have said he can play on the right in a pinch. Cover is non existent for either wing really - Phil fucking Roberts is our only natural width. Tankulic could probably be thrown in one of the gaps, same for Loy but no naturals.

Hemmings is my pick of the forwards based on watching him against us. Loy as back up, Tankulic in the mix as well. The main difference from last season is that all 3 can move - worlds apart from Clarkson & Heffernan. I'd rather see the Tank deeper but, despite my adamant stance their is a player in there - I just don't think its gonna work out for him.

My main concern is Scot Bain. Not his ability - I wouldn't swap him for anyone in the league bar Gordon, but the fact that he came to us injured, missed a few games mid season with injury, then finished the season injured. Our back up is no longer a proven premier league keeper, its a midget who I have seen ver little of and have no faith in based on reports from others and reports on his performance vs Brechin....

Edited by Deefiant

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