5 Questions Before Woking v Wrexham AFC

Can we play three at the back without Pearson?

With Shaun Pearson suspended, will Brian Flynn persist with three at the back? You suspect he will, but losing the skipper tears a big hole in the heart of our defence. But who replaces the big man? Michael Chambers is the obvious call, although Doug Tharme might feel it’s about time he got his opportunity.

Tharme might seem a gamble, especially with a non-specialist already in the back three, albeit a very reliable one in the form of Mark Carrington. Chambers only has about a season and a half of experience with Welling at this level though, and clearly hasn’t impressed Flynn enough to earn a place ahead of Carrington in his natural position.

Has Hooper got 90 minutes in him?

Since JJ Hooper made a surprise return to the squad last weekend, he has made two lively cameo appearances. against Ebbsfleet he provided the assist for Paul Rutherford’s goal, and on Tuesday he got a longer run-out, and scored a goal which was disallowed for offside.

It was the right decision, but seeing him snaffle up a rebound off the keeper served only to reinforce the notion that he’s the most natural striker we’ve had for a while, and is getting close to full sharpness. Is he fit enough to get through a whole game? Wrexham must hope he is.

Are Woking in decline?

Woking made a brilliant start to the season, and still linger up at the sharp end of the table. However, their recent form has been horrible: four points from the last eighteen, and no win since August. They started the season with two clean sheets in three games, but have kept just one in eleven matches since. Who do they think they are: us?

Wrexham fans often bemoan their misfortune at coming up against opponents just when their form is improving. Have we stumbled across today’s opposition at just the right time?

What will Barnum-Bobb be able to do today?

For me, Jazzi Barnum-Bobb was our best player last Saturday. Especially in the second half, when he became the more advanced wing back, he was extremely progressive, got into excellent positions and was a constant menace.

Last Tuesday was a different story: his battle down the flank with the impressive Jamie Reckord was won by the Solihull player in the first half, and although Barnum-Bobb was able to get into better position after the break, in line with Wrexham’s massive improvement as a team, his passing was wayward and he was sacrificed when we switched to a back four. Will he be able to rediscover his form from last Saturday?

Does Flynn change tack?

After Tuesday’s game we know that Brian Flynn has an interest in returning to the manager’s office at The Racecourse. This match therefore represents what might be the final part of his audition for the role.

His tactical alterations before and during the game – lining up with asymmetric wing-backs and switching them to great effect at the break – was impressive last Saturday. On Tuesday, faced with a tough away game, his wing-backs reverted to an orthodox set-up, though. What will he do today?

The tactics last Saturday might have reflected a desire to attack when playing at home, but it should also be remembered that Ebbsfleet played with a back four, whereas Solihull’s three man defence matched us up. Perhaps it’s the opposition’s shape that determines our strategy as Flynn looks to state his case.

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