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Predicted Newcastle team v Tottenham after Steve Bruce Friday updates on injuries and fitness

1 month ago
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The Newcastle team v Tottenham will be an interesting selection for Steve Bruce.

The NUFC Head Coach looking to get the season up and running at a third attempt

All the stats, common sense and form lines appear to be stacked against Steve Bruce and his players, apart from the stat that United have won their last three Premier League visits to Tottenham (as opposed to the last two games at Wembley).

Bruce took his press conference/media duties early on Friday morning before training and gave us this update on injuries/fitness when talking to BBC Newcastle:

“We didn’t play well enough at Norwich and I think the players understood that.

“This week, we make sure our preparation is as good as it can be, and try to put to bed what happened last week.

“Atsu has trained for the last two or three days.

“Saint-Maximin trained yesterday (Thursday) and we will see how he is – if there’s been a reaction – today and tomorrow.

“It’s still a bit early for Gayle and Carroll.”

“We have got a really tough game against Tottenham, let’s go there and try our best. that’s all we can give.

“We have got to make sure we play well, we have got to defend well, and when we have got the ball, can we cause them a threat.” 

In his main chat with the newspaper journalists, Steve Bruce also appeared to make clear he had no intention of changing the tactics and 5-3-1-1 formation that has been used so far, saying ‘It is too early (to radically change tactics and/or formations), we did very very well against Arsenal.’ 

When asked specifically about Sean Longstaff, who laid on Shelvey’s goal and did well in his brief cameo at Norwich off the bench, the head coach stated: ‘I detected he was a bit ginger with his knee, which was understandable. I had a conversation with him to say it’s normal to miss a game or two to make sure he’s ready. When he came on (at Norwich), he had an immediate influence and we were much better.’

I think based on the information from this morning, it gives us a pretty clear guide to the predicted Newcastle team v Tottenham.

As well as Lejeune and Yedlin of course, Carroll and Gayle are not available as expected.

As for Atsu and Saint-Maximin, it would be a massive risk and surprise if they started on Sunday, with surely a place on the bench at best for either/both of them.

With such limited options, I can see only three/four possible changes, although only one likely, in my opinion.

I thought it was a bit hasty putting Krafth in the team against Norwich after only a week at the club, especially with Manquillo having done ok in recent times. There is a case for putting the Spaniard back in after a poor debut for the Swede but now Bruce has played Krafth, it wouldn’t do his confidence any good to be left out after one game.

Over on the left, always a chance that Jetro Willems could get a start but unlikely he will replace Matt Ritchie, so unless a more major change in team selection/formation I can’t see it.

Always a chance Steve Bruce could give either Fernandez or Clark a game, rotating his centre-backs etc etc but again, after only two games I can’t see that happening.

The one change I do think will happen, is that if Sean Longstaff is ok fitness wise, he surely will replace Ki, who was one of the worst of a very bad bunch against Norwich.

Which gives me this predicted Newcastle team v Tottenham:

Martin Dubravka

Emil Krafth

Fabian Schar

Jamaal Lascelles

Paul Dummett

Matt Ritchie

Sean Longstaff

Isaac Hayden

Jonjo Shelvey

Miguel Almiron

Joelinton

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