The predicted Newcastle team v Leicester
The Newcastle team v Leicester will be an ‘interesting’ selection for Steve Bruce.
Both in terms of the players chosen and the formation he uses them in.
Rather bizarrely, the Head Coach declared after the draw with Brighton that the problem this season had been Newcastle playing too much attacking football, leaving them vulnerable at the back. Very strange considering Steve Bruce has had NUFC playing so defensively and by far they have the least possession of any Premier League team this season, averaging under 32% per game.
One thing that obviously helps any manager, or head coach, is having as many players available as possible.
Positive news this week that a number of players are likely to be able to make the squad, with Yedlin, Carroll, Saint-Maximin and Sean Longstaff all training. Florian Lejeune has finally returned to training but he is still some way off playing again.
Starting at the back, Dubravka is obviously a shoe-in, another clean sheet against Brighton and some smart saves.
Lascelles and Dummett weren’t great last weekend but helped the team to a clean sheet and centre-back isn’t where Newcastle’s problems are. Schar was Newcastle’s best starter against Brighton and life-saver with that clearance, his selection is automatic.
In that chaotic game, Steve Bruce did switch to a back four but it would be surely daft to start with a back four in this game. Playing the three-centre-backs has been a positive for Newcastle this season and it is more the lack of quality at wing-back that is the problem.
Speaking of which, Willems has been poor defensively but until Matt Ritchie is fit, there seems little alternative but to continue with him.
On the other side, Manquillo is limited but at least against Brighton he was a big step up on what we have seen of Krafth. Whilst Yedlin will be on the bench at best as he comes back from five months out.
In the middle of the pitch you have to feel sorry for Isaac Hayden. With Sean Longstaff out through injury, Jonjo Shelvey has been a liability next to him.
There is no way Shelvey can stay in the team and fingers crossed Longstaff will be ok to start against Leicester alongside Hayden. Failing that, Ki isn’t great but would have to play if Longstaff isn’t ready to be in the starting eleven.
Joelinton hasn’t been great in recent games but the service to him has been all but non-existent.
Still not convinced he will be a regular goalscorer but we will only know once he gets more chances.
Allan Saint-Maximin was man of the match last Saturday despite only playing the last 17 minutes and has to start if no injury/fitness issues.
A lot of noise from the media and some of our dafter fans that it will be Miguel Almiron who should make way.
Almiron is an easy choice for me to stay in the team and surely Steve Bruce will go along with that.
The Paraguayan has been playing out of position on the right and we need to have him on the left and paired with ASM if we are to have any chance of getting something at Leicester.
Their pace on the break will cause the Foxes problems and hopefully produce the goal threat, whereas Atsu struggles to impose himself on any game. The odd contribution every so many matches is nowhere near enough.
Which gives me this predicted Newcastle team v Leicester:
Here’s hoping that team has got enough in it to get something at Leicester on Sunday, with then Man Utd and Chelsea up next.
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