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Quique weighs up merits of Ake and Holebas as dilemma looms

Quique Sanchez Flores is not the easiest to read when it comes to team selection.

Who would have thought he would bring in Miguel Britos at Stoke City for Sebastian Prödl? Apart from those with the benefit of hindsight who reckoned the Spanish alchemist would recall Jose Holebas for his first start since August for the awkward Boxing Day assignment at Chelsea? A strawpoll in the press room in the buildup to the game, including BBC Three Counties’ Geoff Doyle and the club’s media chief, had Ikechi Anya replacing the ineligible Ake. And if anyone had Victor Ibarbo down as the second substitute Sanchez Flores would bring on against Southampton then can we have next week’s lottery numbers, please?

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So, it would seem foolish of us to nail our colours to the mast and predict which of Holebas and Ake will get the nod at the Liberty Stadium tomorrow. You are best off tossing a coin. Sanchez Flores was not giving any clues away yesterday morning.

“Ake is good, he wants to come back [into the side],” said the head coach. “We have to analyse the last performance of Jose Holebas.”

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That should not take long. The Greece international was dreadful at St Mary’s but then so were the rest of his outfield teammates.

“We are thinking about what is the best line up for the next match,” said the head coach who went onto to assess the merits of his two left-back options.

“They are different players,” he said. “Holebas is more aggressive defending but Ake reduces the space well and is very clever and understands the collective of the defensive line. They are different with the ball, also.”

It sounds like he is favouring Ake but that probably means Holebas will get the nod.