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Tyrone ‘Is Innocent’ Mings is back from his unjustified 5-game suspension (f**k off Man U fans) with a point to prove.
But, will Eddie Howe place him straight back into the heart of the defence against a team with a host of lethal finishers? It seems unlikely that Howe will change his back four. There is the option for Francis to move back out to the right and drop Adam Smith. Would this make the defence stronger? We would go for a no.
Simon Francis has the experience and has hardly been shoddy since Mings got suspended. We have managed to win two games, keep two clean sheets and get a draw away to Liverpool. As we said, hardly shoddy.
FRANCIS ON THE RIGHT
However, we would love to see Francis back out on the right. In our opinion, in the right-back position, he is better than Smith. He is better at getting forward and he delivers a better final ball. In fact, we think he is the best crosser of a ball at the club (Daniels is probably on a par from the left).
We think we lose some of our attacking threat when Francis plays in the centre, but as we have already said Howe is unlikely to take the risk of playing Mings in the centre against Spurs. This will be a game where caution will be key and blunting the Spurs attack will be Howe’s intention at least for the first twenty minutes.
How will Howe feel when we are 1-0 down with ten minutes to go? Francis out to the right, Mings in the middle of defence and three up front to take care of the endless supply of quality crosses from the right and left
We don’t see it happening but welcome back Tyrone, you have been missed.