Which formation has brought us the most chances this season?

Courtesy of Graham Burrell

This is a hard pick for me because I was thrilled when Jack Payne signed, but I don’t think he’s impressed in recent weeks. It might be he’s jaded from the run of games, it might be the change in personnel, but I suspect that a fresh pair of legs in the middle would be a big boost.

Andrade has the skill and craft to work as a ten; he did it at Boreham Wood and looked every inch a central player. I would put him behind Walker because Andrade is more likely to rattle shots off if a half-chance pops up. That would mean bringing Anderson in on the wing; Payne could play out there but he kept drifting inside against Portsmouth and that made us lopsided.

Jorge Grant started the season well and I like him on the other flank, all three providing support for Walker. I could see Andrade getting more half-chances off Walker than he gets cutting in from the wing and maybe that can help us drive the goals for column up.

The other big shout here is Connolly and Eardley. I know some think it’s time Neal had a spell on the bench but I disagree. His delivery is still as good as anyone we have in the side and with a centre back who is mobile, such as Connolly, I think Neal has to stay in the side. Also, Thibaud Verlinden is the pacey left-sided winger that would be facing Eardley but he’s a big doubt for the weekend and they had Chris O’Grady there this week. He’s not the quickest and that reduces Eardley’s chances of being exposed if he pushes forward.

What would you play though? Is 4-4-2 worth the risk, given that we only have two strikers on our books? Or, does Michael Appleton look to play the best formation for the squad, making his players fit a system that’s enforced upon him without the depth he might like? Have your say below and, if you’re so inclined, leave some comments too.

Which formation would you play against Bolton?

  • 4-2-3-1 (63%, 53 Votes)
  • 4-4-2 (26%, 22 Votes)
  • 4-4-1-1 (7%, 6 Votes)
  • Something else (4%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 84

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Courtesy Graham Burrell


  1. I like the general thrust. but a) I don’t trust XG as Liverpool shouldn’t be top and Leicester scored far fewer based on this. b) This ignores the opposition, if the they are playing 0-0-10 then we would expect a higher xg than 10-0-0 no matter what the formation

  2. Been saying the same for sometime about strikers, a classic example is when Liverpool bought Ian Rush back from Juventus and then John Aldridge was sold despite having been a star and scoring a bucket load of goals while Rush was away in Italy. Liverpool knew they were both number 9’s that would go for the same ball and it just wouldn’t work. The best partnerships are a 9 & 10 that compliment each other and don’t go for the same ball, one nearly always setting up the other, the best examples were the likes of Dalglish & Rush, Beardsley & Lineker, Shearer & Sheringham for England We saw an example of how 2 number 9’s doesn’t work at Sincil Bank in recent times when we both wanted to see Akinde and Green given a go together at one stage last year but when they were finally given a chance to partner each other we quickly saw it wouldn’t work as both John and Matt went for the first 3 balls played up to them, got in each others way and we lost the ball to the opposition. I really like the line up you’ve chosen and I’d be very tempted to go with it this Saturday as Bruno down the middle might solve the problem of Tyler “looking” isolated because when we turn the ball over and go on the attack Bruno’s pace would get him up to support Tyler quicker than any of the other options and would make him look more supported. Not sure Michael Appleton will go with it though. Harry seems abit out of favour at the mo with Bruno being on fire recently down that wing so he may stick with that and he may see Bruno’s pace, dribbling and direct running as more suited down the wing with Jack’s intricacy and closer ball control and vision more suited to the central number 10 role, so I think he may return to that line up. Another option I would like to see given a go might be to try Harry down the right wing, bring Bruno back over to the left wing, rest Jack Payne and move Jorge Grant to the middle to play the number 10 role, a role with his intricate skills and vision he is more than capable of playing, especially as he and Tyler have a good understanding and know each others game well through being at Forest together.

  3. I would love to see Grant at 10 as well. Payne could do with bit of a brake as apart from great work rate he does not bring much to our game in the sense of end product like assists/goals..

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