The 4-4-2 formation that has served us so well in recent matches could be under threat due to the “striker crisis” which has hit the squad.
Che Adams’ sending off wasn’t only a hindrance against Bolton, but his three game suspension will mean we will have very few options to partner Lukas Jutkiewicz against Burton at the weekend.
With Isaac Vassell out for the season, the only other out and out striker in the squad is Sam Gallagher, and unfortunately Garry Monk has revealed the Southampton loanee is a major doubt for Saturday.
A sore calf may sound like a minor injury, but according to the manager, it is something that has to be managed properly, and it looks like it will be a 50/50 call when we face the Brewers.
If he is out, it would probably necessitate a switch away from the tried and tested two up front, and I would be very hesitant for that to happen if the gaffer did make that decision.
The change in system to 4-4-2 has given us the momentum we need, and although it could have led to us conceding more goals with the team looking to play games on the front foot, the opposite has been the case with three consecutive clean sheets.
So how do we get around this problem? In my opinion, the utilisation of Jeremie Boga in a number ten role could be a solution here. The Ivorian has generally been utilised out wide for us, but during his time at both Rennes and Granada, he was used more often than not as a central attacking midfielder.
It’s definitely something worth considering I think. Lukas can offer us the focal point while the Chelsea loanee can be play off him in a deeper role. If we are in need of a goal, we can perhaps use Gallagher from the bench if he is fit enough for 20 or 30 minutes.
It’s hardly ideal but I think it is definitely worth a go, rather than using Craig Gardner which would definitely be something more akin to a 4-5-1. We have to keep the positive mindset to get ourselves out of trouble completely, and that for me means keeping two forwards on the pitch.