The Low-down on City's Wembley Opponents
By Gavin Mapstone
For the last preview of the season I asked Andy Beill of 'Hull City online' about their manager's tactics and the likely line-up for the big game at Wembley.
So Andy, what tactics does Phil Brown favour?
Occasionally we go 4-3-3 when chasing a game or when players have been out injured, but we favour 4-4-2 and looked happier going back to this formation for the two wins against Watford in the semi-finals.
Our forwards pressure defenders and will look to win it in the corners. The pace and determination of Fraizer Campbell, and Caleb Folan when he comes on, is key to this. This is balanced with the craft and experience of players like Dean Windass and Nick Barmby.
We donít score many from corners but if we do itíll be Michael Turner coming up from the back.
And what about team selection for the game?
Phil Brown stuck with the same team for both legs against Watford, but now has Henrik Pedersen, Jay-Jay Okocha and Dean Marney fit, all of whom might be considered part of our Ďbest elevení, so itíll be interesting to see if Browny changes it. If not, they might not even be among the substitutes.
If he goes for continuity, our team will be:
1. Boaz Myhill (GK) - Excellent shot-stopper - as demonstrated with a world class save in the first leg of the play-offs - who also handles the ball well. Could be better at commanding his area and his distribution is inconsistent, but heís about a good a keeper as youíll get at this level. Has pledged his international future to Wales, and was capped earlier this year.
21. Sam Ricketts (Right Back) - Another Wales international, who often plays at left back for them but has almost always played on his natural side for us. Itís important for us to get him forward as he puts in more crosses than anyone else.
3. Andy Dawson (Left Back) - Expected to keep his place ahead of Pedersen. A player whoís come with us through the lower leagues and is capable of cutting it in the Championship. Is capable of scoring from free kicks, and possesses good crossing ability as well. Isnít great in the air, nor is he the quickest, but heís strong in the tackle and a good team player.
6. Michael Turner (Centre Back) - Has been many peopleís player of the year both seasons since joining from Brentford. Pops up with the odd goal when sent forward.
15. Wayne Brown (Centre Back) - Lacking in pace and a couple of inches in height, but makes up for it in aggression. Will only use his left foot, and even thatís not great. Turner plays noticeably better when he has Brown leading the line for him.
14. Richard Garcia (Right Wing) - Recently called up to the Australia national team for the first time. Gives the team good balance.
8. Nick Barmby (Left Wing) - Has struggled with injuries this season but scored on his return in the play-offs first leg. Usually plays up front but is on the left at the moment, a position he filled many times for Everton, Liverpool and England. Wonít last the 90 minutes but will give it his all while heís on the pitch.
4. Ian Ashbee (Central Midfield) - Captain and longest serving player who has already led us to two promotions. Does a vital job helping out the defence, and by all accounts is a big influence in the changing room.
11. Bryan Hughes (Central Midfield) - Right-footed but has spent most of the season doing a decent job on the left wing. Is now being given the chance in his favoured central position. A skilful player who dribbles well and like to cut inside.
9. Dean Windass (Forward) - The fansí favourite for his first spell at the club and his important goals since returning. Never had any pace when he was young so thatís not affecting him in his old age. He still knows where the goal is, especially from free kicks, and will always get everyone going. Like Barmby, probably wonít play the whole match.
25. Fraizer Campbell (Forward) - Livewire with great pace, a determined attitude, Premiership skill and an eye for goal. If we go up weíll hopefully get him back on loan again.
12. Matt Duke (GK) - Has had very few chances since joining us due to Myhillís form, but has done well when given the nod. Thankfully returned to action after having a tumour removed in January.
18. Caleb Folan (Forward) - Is getting a Ďsuper subí reputation for coming on and scoring, but will want a starting place. Tall, strong and mobile forward who unsettles defenders when on his game. Is our record signing.
5. Simon Walton (Defender/Midfielder) - Hasnít made much of an impact since signing on loan from QPR, but is one of our only options in case a centre back gets injured.
2. Nathan Doyle (Defender/Midfielder) - Has only emerged in the last few weeks with three surprisingly good appearances from the bench. He even scored his first goal when coming on against Watford at the KC Stadium.
23. Craig Fagan (Forward) - Was sold by City to Derby last year but is now back on loan. Not a prolific scorer but is skilful and gets in defendersí faces. Can frustrate our own fans as much as the opposition though! Plays on either wing or up front.