Predicted Newcastle team v Watford after Steve Bruce updates
The Newcastle team v Watford will be another interesting selection for Steve Bruce.
The NUFC Head Coach looking to back up the win over Tottenham.
A win over Watford would be a significant boost in many ways, most importantly lifting the team out of their very early season relegation position.
Injury news dominated this morning’s press conference, with Steve Bruce confirming that he has concerns for eleven players ahead of Watford, with six definitely out and five to be assessed later on Friday.
The Mag earlier today (30 August 2019) reporting on those 11 injury concerns:
Dwight Gayle – ‘Doesn’t seem to be getting any better’ and he visited a specialist on Thursday.
Andy Carroll – ‘Hopefully somewhere near’ by end of international break in mid-September.
Florian Lejuene – Still recovering from his operation.
DeAndre Yedlin – Now back in training after his operation but won’t be ready for Watford.
Emil Krafth – Struggling for Watford after injury/knock against Leicester and will be assessed later on Friday.
Jetro Willems – Struggling for Watford after injury/knock against Leicester and will be assessed later on Friday.
Allan Saint-Maximin – Out for another five weeks or so after the Head Coach rushed him back too early against Tottenham.
Matt Ritchie – ‘A horror tackle (on Wednesday night) and not great news. We think maybe two months as there is ankle ligament damage as well as bruises and cuts. He (Ritchie) is angry, disappointed and frustrated.”
Miguel Almiron – ‘Has a bit of a problem with ankle’ but will be available against Watford if gets through training ok today.
Joelinton and Jamaal Lascelles – Steve Bruce says he hopes both will come through training without any further issues today.
Gayle, Carroll, Lejeune, Yedlin, ASM and Ritchie were clearly all ruled out.
As for the other five, Friday training shots released by the club showed Almiron, Joelinto, Willems and Lascelles all training with no apparent problems. However, Krafth was conspicuous by his absence in any of the shots.
So based on that, I think fair to assume that it is seven ruled out tomorrow and those other four hopefully ok.
It would seem logical that Steve Bruce will want to keep his team selection and tactics/formation as close as possible to what produced the win at Tottenham.
Dubravka back in goal (after seven changes v Leicester), the preferred trio of central defenders in Schar, Lascelles and Dummett.
Wing-backs is more of a problem but Manquillo has been unlucky to be dropped considering good recent form, as well as the fact that Krafth has struggled so far. So if the Swede is injured that looks a particularly easy decision, especially with Yedlin not available yet.
On the other side, if sticking to the wing-backs and three/five at the back then Willems looks the only obvious selection. Even though he has also struggled a bit, though looked a little better then Krafth.
Steve Bruce could surprise us and go back to three central midfielders to accommodate Jonjo Shelvey but that would be a big mistake in my opinion. Shelvey did ok against Leicester up to a point but Hayden and Longstaff were back to their best when played as a pair at Spurs.
Previous to that, Hayden especially was finding himself in positions on the pitch where he isn’t at his best, such as the right wing at times against Norwich.
Plus of course, the big bonus and essential for the team to have any attacking decent threat, they need to have more than just Almiron supporting Joelinton.
Atsu had one of his better games at Tottenham and he and Almiron (who ended up switched to the right when Atsu replaced ASM) did well both in supporting Joelinton on the break, as well as tracking back to help defend.
Which gives me this predicted Newcastle team v Watford:
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