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Predicted Newcastle team v Leicester after Steve Bruce updates

4 weeks ago
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The Newcastle team v Leicester will be an interesting selection for Steve Bruce.

The NUFC Head Coach looking to back up his previous claims of playing his strongest team in cup competitions in an attempt to win something.

However, Steve Bruce revealed when he gave his pre-Leicester press conference, that as many as 10 players could be unavailable for selection.

Long-term injured Yedlin, Lejeune, Gayle and Carroll were already set to be missing.

The Head Coach though adding another six likely non-starters.

Steve Bruce talking on Tuesday morning before training and gave us this update on injuries/fitness when talking to BBC Newcastle:

“We’ve a few injuries.

“The main one is Saint-Maximin.

“We’re disappointed because he DID train all week – we didn’t just throw him in (at Spurs); we thought there was no risk… he looked sharp in training and that’s why we picked him.

“Atsu came on and did an unbelievable job considering how long he’s been out – what a performance he put in.

“He is chronically fatigued and we’ll have to see how his is.

“Then we’ve got Lascelles and Schar (with knocks), Almiron has got a sore ankle and, of course, Joelinton is still a little bit ginger with his groin.

“We’ll see how they all are again later this morning.”

On the basis that he has named these six, as well as the four long-term injured, I am taking it that none of the 10 will be involved.

Not something that I have an issue with BUT when Bruce has made those claims of playing his strongest team in the cups, fans will look at Saturday’s selection if players missing on Wednesday night are then starting against Watford, wondering if this Leicester game was a Premier League match, whether they would still have been left out.

Whatever happens, it looks sure to be a much changed team from the win over Spurs but will be starting?

I think it is obvious that Karl Darlow will be given a game for starters.

Then I don’t see any great issues at the back with the likely changes.

I assume Steve Bruce will stick with the three/five in defence with wing-backs.

So I think it is logical that Fernandez and Clark will come in at centre-back, although I believe this would mean Dummett having to play on the right side of the three.

I also think that with the lack of attacking options and wingers/wide players, wing-backs Manquillo and Willems will be asked to be as attacking as possible to compensate.

With Muto set to be the lone forward, it appears all but certain that then the central midfield will be more numerous, with Ki, Hayden, Shelvey and (Matty) Longstaff candidates to start, the last two expected to get forward as much as possible.

It has been widely reported that the players left out of the NUFC 25 man senior Premier League squad, are still eligible for the cup games.

However, for a number of reasons I don’t see any of them starting on Wednesday night.

They were left out for a reason and that reason is that there were 25 better players at the club. It would also make Steve Bruce look a bit daft if he then picked players who he left out of his PL squad, above those he did include in that PL squad.

Lastly, Newcastle are acutely short of players with a goal threat and creativity, none of Sterry, Saivet, Aarons, Lazaar and Colback having a track record in that department.

I think we might see some of those named amongst the subs but not the eleven that starts.

Which gives me this predicted Newcastle team v Leicester:

Karl Darlow

Javier Manquillo

Paul Dummett

Federico Fernandez

Ciaran Clark

Jetro Willems

Ki Sung-yeung

Matty Longstaff

Isaac Hayden

Jonjo Shelvey

Yoshinori Muto

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