Stick or twist?
AVB post-match quotes:
"Very, very good to see the performance. At half time we complimented the players. We created a lot of opportunities. A lot of effort and resilience from the players. We put in a lot of crosses in the first half we just needed to meet them.
Brilliant finishing from Jermain. He doesn't take chances lightly. Very focused. We're still a team that creates a lot of attacking opportunities with one striker. We go four steps up in competition [on Sunday], it's a different scenario.
It was good to see us in this system, with Adebayor coming short and linking play very, very well.
We have been playing with two strikers, but one off the other one, and we are still a team that creates lots of opportunities with one off or with two up front. It was good to see the link up of Adebayor and Defoe, but we ended with one striker coming short all the time so it was exactly the same.
I base my decision making on the performance in the game and in training. I have not made a decision at the moment but in the short time of preparation I will decide"
Our gaffer admits that the system we played last night works and that it isn't too different from our normal system, yet I can't help but think that we'll settle back to what we know (away from) home on Sunday against City. Would love to see us retain Adebayor, deep-lying or otherwise. The far bigger concern is whether Sandro will make it (the suggestion is he will). Our midfield could do with our Brazilian beast as this will be another game where dominance in the middle will heavily influence who dictates (unless we set out to counter exclusively, which is risky business at a place like Eastlands).
Although (hardly the same position and responsibility) part of me in a perverse way wants to see young Tom Carroll start. If anything for the juxtaposition of City's multi-million superstars up against a little man in Lilywhite.
Selection issues aside, it's got to be all about the intensity and our approach. Take the way we played against Maribor and times it by ten. Ideally, another first half at Old Trafford performance spread over the ninety minutes. Sadly selections issues can't be placed aside and ignored as part of the pre-match discussion because this time we're visiting Manchester without Dembele. Who is sidelined.
Got to be honest, writing up match previews, they hardly seem to be relevant aside from a prediction and perhaps a hint of what expectancy we have. We've not got a full strength side, City are not quite firing on all cylinders. Football is what it is, impossible to predict. Which is why I'm so looking forward to this game. One point up there would be deemed a fairly decent result. Can't imagine for a second we'll go up there to win just the single point, so on that basis, we may as well go for the jugular. If we miss and get knocked out, just have to pick ourselves up and make our way back south and pick another fight in our back yard, and just make sure we're proper tooled up for that one.