Date: 1st May 2018 at 5:00pm
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In the build-up to Sunday’s crucial final home game, I will be assessing the three areas of defence, midfield and attack to see where the match could be won, and who Garry Monk will pick in the starting line up.

For starters, let’s look at the defence. This was a major weak point against QPR, and a number of possible changes are possible for the weekend.

Centre Backs

Both Marc Roberts and Michael Morrison were poor at Loftus Road, looking hesitant and unsure of themselves. Harlee Dean will almost certainly be back in the first eleven after his two-game suspension, but who will he replace?

Since arriving, the manager has kept faith with the captain, and his partnership with Harlee has been the most secure of the three possible combinations. I would expect this to be the pair that will start on Sunday.

Against Aleksandar Mitrovic though, they are in for a torrid 90 minutes, and they will have to be right at the top of their game to stop the Serbian. With 12 in 16 games, the Newcastle loanee is hard to stop.

His prowess in the air will mean our centre-back pairing will have to be switched on when crosses are put in, but he is tricky around the box as well, and they will need help from our midfielders to cut off his supply.

Full Backs

This is far less cut and dry. Wes Harding has exceeded expectations since coming in at right back, but there is a case for going with experience on both flanks against the Cottagers.

Maxime Colin has been far less convincing on the left-hand side, and he could be switched to the right to allow Jonathan Grounds to come in. It would be harsh on Wes to leave him out, but managers have to make tough decisions, and it is a call that Monk could justify making.

Ryan Sessegnon and Lucas Piazon are likely to start out wide for our opponents. The former is very hard to stop, but you could argue the case for either Colin or Harding to go up against him. The youthful energy of our no.45 could be important against the red-hot winger, but the experience of Maxime could also prove vital to ensure he stays quiet.

Whoever starts on Sunday, the wide areas could be where the game is won or lost. I don’t envy the manager having to make these decisions.

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