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Opinion

The predicted Newcastle team v Wolves on Sunday

1 year ago
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All eyes are now on the Newcastle team v Wolves.

Steve Bruce going into the weekend with his team back in the relegation zone.

We have already been told that a number of players won’t be involved.

As well as the suspended Isaac Hayden, there are also four who will miss out through injury/fitness issues.

Lejeune and Ritchie not ready to return yet, whilst Carroll has picked up a groin injury and Schar a knee ligament problem.

Steve Bruce has already this season made clear that he does’t see the three centre-back system as one that he wants to use longer-term. Schar’s absence gives Bruce the perfect opportunity/justification to drop it this weekend.

The Swiss defender is the centre-back that Newcastle don’t have a replacement for.

I don’t think playing Lascelles and Fernandez works, the same with Clark and Dummett (in a three centre-back system).

So I think Steve Bruce will go to a back four and bring Dummett back into the team at left-back, with Clark and Lascelles in the middle.

The Longstaffs will be in the middle you assume, at least until Hayden is available after this Wolves game.

So what about the plan to get goals?

Well, I think clearly something has to change, whether it is tactics, team selection, formation, or a combination of two or three of those.

Personally, I don’t think Carroll would have been an option to start if available. He still isn’t fully fit and it must be doubtful if he will ever be, at least in terms of fit enough to start a game and play most of the 90 minutes.

Steve Bruce has given Dwight Gayle plenty of mentions this past week and I think he will be brought in, the only question being whether it is Joelinton or Almiron who makes way.

Possibly if it was an away game it could have been Joelinton but being at home I see it being Almiron dropping to the bench.

In the absence of Schar, Newcastle will find it even more difficult to play it out from the back and I can well see plenty of long balls up to Joelinton and try to build from there.

If that is the case, you need to get somebody playing close to the Brazilian and I think it will be Gayle ahead of Almiron.

In a 4-4-2/4-4-1-1 formation that means an obvious place for Allan Saint-Maximin on the right and I’m assuming Willems on the left. I would put Miguel Almiron in instead of the Dutchman but I don’t see that being Steve Bruce’s thinking.

The above gives me this predicted Steve Bruce Newcastle team v Wolves:

Here’s hoping whatever the team selection and tactics/formation, it proves to be a winning one.

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