The Newcastle team v West Ham to pick up vital win with five players ruled out
All eyes are now on the Newcastle team v West Ham
Steve Bruce going into the weekend with his team one point and one place above the relegation zone.
So can Newcastle find the chances and goals to get a victory to put distance between themselves and the drop zone?
Isaac Hayden is back but Steve Bruce has another selection headache in midfield, as Sean Longstaff now misses West Ham, Bournemouth Aston Villa with a three game suspension confirmed.
Fabian Schar is set to miss out again with his knee injury, as per Sky Sports report on Wednesday.
There may be a small chance of one or more of Matt Ritchie, Florian Lejeune and Andy Carroll being available for a place on the bench but not to start.
So taking out those five, who should make Saturday’s starting eleven?
With Lejeune, Ritchie and Schar not available, the back five/six pretty much picks itself.
Yes Martin Dubravka should have done better with the cross that led to Wolves equalising but as one of Newcastle’s best performers in that last game and this season, you would have to be daft to want to drop him. Karl Darlow is not a bad option for the bench but he isn’t a Premier League keeper.
The three centre-backs were three of NUFC’s best four outfield players against Wolves anyway, whilst no viable competition for wing-backs Yedlin and Willems, even though they weren’t great on Sunday.
Centre of midfield is interesting, with Hayden surely coming straight back in.
Ki hasn’t even made the bench since the Leicester hammering so I would rule him out. Which leaves it between Matty Longstaff and Jonjo Shelvey.
Not an easy or really positive choice.
Shelvey has shown nothing this season although he did knock a couple of decent long passes in the final minutes against Wolves as a late sub, whilst the younger Longstaff has struggled these past two games after grabbing the headlines against Man Utd.
I think he needs taken out the firing line and just maybe returning to the team he supports will motivate Jonjo Shelvey.
Tied in with his selection, it gives added impetus to give Gayle a chance and also take Joelinton out of the firing line. Gayle will make runs with his pace beyond the West Ham defence for Shelvey to pick out and hopefully cause some problems and maybe even help create chances and goals!
Allan Saint-Maximin was Newcastle’s best player against Wolves and just needs to add a bit composure and end product to his dribbling skills.
Whilst Almiron also did ok against Wolves apart from making the wrong choices a couple of times when NUFC had rare attacks. Hopefully Steve Bruce will allow him to move back to his favoured left side and push him further up the pitch along with ASM to support Dwight Gayle.
Which gives me this Newcastle team v West Ham:
Here’s hoping whatever the team selection and tactics/formation, it proves to be a winning one.
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