We look ahead to this afternoon’s clash against Arsenal, in terms of what we expect the Barnet team to lineup as.
Lee Harrison will take his place between the sticks for the first time as skipper of the Bees aiming to keep the likes of shots from Robin Van Persie and Theo Walcott away from the back of the net. Harrison will, however, probably only play for the first half of the match, with West Ham trialist David Blackmore to be given a runout in the second half.
Protecting them, Joe Devera should take his place at right-back and this may see the start of a wonderful campaign for the youngster who may be seen as a first-choice right-back in Paul Fairclough‘s books, just one season after being handed his first professional contract and displaying confident performances in the games he played last season. Player-assisstant manager Ian Hendon is the club’s only other registered right-back but I have my doubts over whether he will make an appearance.
On the opposite full-back position Nicky Nicolau is the only registered player in the Barnet ranks but also featuring should be one or even both trialists John Glele and Jakub Bures who have travelled from France and the Czech Republic, respectively.
Ismail Yakubu should partner trialist Sagi Burton in central defence. Burton appears to be the ideal person to fit into Barnet’s starting XI for next season and many fans expect him to be signed up in a permanent deal soon. Teenager James Cole is Barnet’s only other centre-back but he will not feature due to a hamstring problem. Trialist Michael Bostwick should also get a chance to impress Fairclough at the back.
In midfielder, new signings will be making their first appearances in a match for the club. Ashley Carew looks set to play on the right of midfield – the same place where he impressed during a trial earlier this season before he signed a permanent contract with the club.
In the centre of the park, Max Porter should partner Michael Leary and supporters will be wondering if this pairing will remain as a flat 4-4-2 formation or whether Fairclough decides to go in a diamond formation, with the attacking-minded Porter given freedom to go forward thanks to the ‘tough-tackling’ nature of Leary who could be given a defensive midfield position. Another signing, Neal Bishop will also be given a lengthy appearance.
On the left, Jason Puncheon will take up his position and with no left-wing players on trial, Puncheon could be given the full 90 minutes of action against Arsenal.
Up front, Adam Birchall looks set to partner Anthony Thomas. Liam Hatch is another striker that will be given some time against the Gunners, possibly along with transfer-listed Giuliano Grazioli whose future at the club is uncertain because no other clubs have come in to buy the goal-scoring striker. Ivory Coast-born teenager Stephane Claude Seanla may also get some time to make an impact in the game as well as French frontman Jakub Bures who is also hoping to impress.