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Team for Sunday

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For the first time, I wont be home at Xmas to watch the Blues... Added to that I would not normally play FM, preferring to leave it to the professional... but our line-ups this season have been bizarre to say the least.

For example, Victor Anichebe, home alone at City. Now I would never figure Vic for someone who can hold the ball up and bring others into the game but at least we got the result. But at home against Birmingham City this Sunday, I see it as a more important make-or-break game that will require a lot of patience.

Why make or break? Because Goodison Park is becoming more and more desolate as the season progresses and, with plenty of Xmas spirit, hopefully the crowd will be buzzing ? if we play well and win, it could reignite GP. That is why I see team selection as critical ? not just for the game but to appease the crowd too.

I will start up front: Please, please, please ? no Louis Saha. I would give the Yak and Tim Cahill a shout with Beckford on in the second half (not the last 10 minutes either).

I also feel that Rodwell and Fellaini should be automatic starters with Steven Pienaar returning and Seamus Coleman to continue his efforts of late. That means no starting place for Mikel Arteta or Leon Osman, who will have to take their places on the bench. That leaves the back four whose only problem may be handling 6'-7'' Zigic. Experience is key, as is cutting out balls to Zigic because, in the absence of Jags (and Heitinga) it looks like Hibbert may get the nod and therefore his height will be a major problem for us. I would have considered 3-5-2 to combat their 5 in midfield and put pressure on their defence but I dont think we've got the players for that so it would have to be Neville, Hibbert, Distin and Baines across the back.

I did consider Coleman at right-back and Neville as centre-back with Arteta on the right wing but I think that negates our pace(??) going forward. If we are doing well, I wouldn't mind seeing a bit of Gueye and Duffy for the last quarter.

I just hope that we go with a positive formation and the crowd are patient until the last minute because Brum are experts at putting up a wall and hitting teams on the break.
Jay Harris, Florida     Posted 24/12/2010 at 15:48:09

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Brian Waring
1   Posted 24/12/2010 at 19:18:11

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While confidence is high in players, and fans, Moyes should go all out.

If we revert back to the norm, it won't be long before the the crowd lose patience again, because I imagine that we all expect us to kick-on now.
Richard Dodd
2   Posted 24/12/2010 at 19:30:12

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Johnny or Jags will play at centre-back, in spite of injury, and Mikel will be back for Coleman.
Ian McDowell
3   Posted 24/12/2010 at 19:34:06

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Hopefully we can bring Johnny H in for Jags and Louis for Anichebe. I would leave Arteta on the bench and if it ain't going well at half-time, bring on Arteta and Beckford.
John Talbot
4   Posted 24/12/2010 at 19:57:37

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Fellaini and Rodwell a must in the middle of the park.
Vijay Badhan
5   Posted 24/12/2010 at 20:04:41

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My team for Brum would be:
Howard; Coleman, Heitanga (if fit), Distin, Baines; Arteta, Fellaini, Rodwell, Pienaar; Yakubu, Cahill.
Dave Wilson
6   Posted 24/12/2010 at 20:28:42

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I`m at a loss to understand how anybody who wants to see a more adventurous Everton would prefer to see a man who has struggled to make an impact play on the right instead of our most talented player. Form temporary/clas permanent and all that.

And what about Leon Osman, he gets injured during a stirring win against the shite; we struggle. Then he comes back and has another blinder and worra ya know? We win again!

So you want a midfielder up front, a right back at right mid and another right back at center half and you want to leave out two of our most talented players... trust me, if Moyes does this he will be slaughtered for playing players out of position and for being negative.

It never ceases to amaze me how negative the positive can be.

Brian: when you say "Moyes should go all out" ? How do you mean? You're another who's been vocal about team selection and negativity, let's hear your team BEFORE the game. Players are coming back now; let's see how much your team differs from Moyes's.

John Keating
7   Posted 24/12/2010 at 21:26:51

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If Jags and Heitinga are unfit I'd play Neville alongside Distin and put Hibbert RB. I'd put Beckford up-front with Cahill. Everyone else as the City game.

I'm a bit of a believer in not changing a winning team and Arteta has not exactly been setting the heather on fire this season. IF Rodwell and Fellaini are not performing then yes, change it; if not, leave it.

Tom Bowers
8   Posted 24/12/2010 at 22:25:26

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I wouldn't bring Hibbert in, rather going for Coleman at right back allowing Arteta back in midfield. However, if we can play like we did against City, then we should beat Brum... although we know they will play 10 men back for most of the game. Hopefully another early goal will force them to come out.

Much depends on the confidence carry-over from the City game as for some reason there seems to be a problem playing at home this season with only the game against the Redshite worth remembering.

Paul Olsen
9   Posted 24/12/2010 at 23:30:00

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I certainly don´t hope we´ll play like we did at City. I hope we will try to play football and attack for a full 90 minutes.
Jay Harris
10   Posted 24/12/2010 at 23:48:33

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I think it's fairly unanimous that Arteta has not been the player he was before injury, marriage and a bumper new contract and that Ossie is never a winger in a month of Sundays.

I wasnt writing either of them off I was of the opinion that Coleman is MORE effective on the RW than either of them and that the Felli/Rodwell partnership could do with more time.

The only thing I have been negative about is Moyes insistence on playing Saha despite bad game after bad game.
Andy Peers
11   Posted 25/12/2010 at 05:31:59

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Baines 26, Fellaini 23, Coleman 22, Rodwell 19. Everton should play these guys every game so they can forge a playing relationship that will be at Goodison for the next 5 years. Pienaar is only as good as Baines makes him. Baines is good without Pienaar. Build a team around these players and we can be winners again. If I am not mistaken all these players love to play for EFC.
Gerard Carey
12   Posted 25/12/2010 at 11:21:29

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Please no Saha, when he's not arsed, it affects the whole team. Has Yakubu played his last game for us?!
Tony Cheek
13   Posted 25/12/2010 at 11:21:37

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Osman on the bench!! You must be joking, he's back to stay. DM probably thinks he is the reason we won against City. If you want to see commitment, then have a look again at City's goal. Watch how hard Osman worked to get goalside.

It's all about who gets the nod up-front though and I agree with you Jay, Saha is third choice. I would go for Beckford, but I know he is Moyes's third choice.

And has DM got the balls to put Arteta on the bench... doubt it. HC... COYB

John Crook
14   Posted 25/12/2010 at 13:09:36

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I definitely agree that Rodwell and Fellaini should be the middle pairing -- they are, after all, the long-term future of Everton and particularly Everton's midfield. I don't think Coleman deserves to be dropped but more than likely (certainly if Pienaar passes his fitness test) Arteta will come in for Coleman on the right.

Obviously the main problem this year has been up front. Who plays ahead of Cahill?? I know Saha has been shite but I actually have a feeling he will score tomorrow. I'm gonna have a tenner on Louis to score at anytime.

Trevor Lynes
15   Posted 25/12/2010 at 16:24:31

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DM has already said in print that he sees Beckford as an impact sub more than a 90-minute starter. Big Vic did OK and I'm sure his effort alone is worth at least half-an-hour either starting or sub. To combat Vigic, I would tell Fellaini to pick him up at set pieces if Brum get any????

I would not consider Heitinga as he is liable to get sent off as his tackling is worse than Fellaini's. At least Hibbo can tackle.

Arteta and Pienaar will both play some part if they are both fit.

Sam Hoare
16   Posted 26/12/2010 at 00:12:33

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I'd be happy to start with same team that started Man City with Arteta, Yak and Billy to come on if we can't break them down.

Otherwise would love to see Arteta at RM with Coleman behind him. And Heits in for Jags if injured.
Derek Thomas
17   Posted 26/12/2010 at 02:50:54

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Andy Peers, spot on Re Baines making Pienaar look better than he thinks he is.

I think if Baines was a right back then Osman would not be getting the stick he does.

Here in Brisbane the game as far as I can tell is 'delayed' until 12 noon Monday local time. I will wait with bated breath for the team selection... and the result... AND how we get it.

But suspect it will be as near to the Moyes norm as injuries will allow.
Paul Rimmer
18   Posted 26/12/2010 at 06:04:17

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I think Saha will come in for Anichebe and Hibbert for Jags if Heitinga is unfit. I think Saha will score both in a 2-0 win. COYBB
Dave Wilson
19   Posted 26/12/2010 at 08:01:38

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So what would your team be, Derek?
Dave Wilson
20   Posted 26/12/2010 at 08:22:41

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If I`m honest, I wouldn't disagree with you too much on selection. That's my point: how many people do your hear say "I nearly chocked on my pint" or "nearly turned the car around" when I heard DM`s team selection. "More negativity"; "More square pegs in round holes."

But ask people to put their own team up BEFORE the team is named and they often do the very same thing.

Sure you might get a few Kevin Keegans and a few people would deliberately go against Moyesie by suggesting we should play untried / unproven / unready kids in the positions where we are short, but would they honestly do that if the decision was theirs? If their result depended upon it?

No chance!

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