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Opinion

Has Steve Bruce sacrificed Manchester United match in favour of Everton with team selection?

10 months ago
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Steve Bruce has named his Newcastle United team v Manchester United.

The NUFC Head Coach’s starting eleven made public an hour ahead of kick-off.

Steve Bruce making four changes to the team that beat Crystal Palace five days ago.

The team at Old Trafford is:

Dubravka, Manquillo, Fernandez, Lejeune, Schar, Willems, M Longstaff, S Longstaff, Almiron, Gayle, Joelinton

The players coming in are Willems, Matty Longstaff, Sean Longstaff and Gayle.

Whilst dropping out are Dummett, Shelvey, Hayden and Carroll.

The subs are named as: Darlow, Atsu, Krafth, Yedlin, Shelvey, Hayden and Carroll.

It looks clear that Paul Dummett is an enforced change after injuring his groin against Palace and forced off.

However, the other three changes are clearly out of choice.

We were never going to see the exact same eleven named for the Manchester United game, as we will see on Saturday for Everton.

However, it does look as though Steve Bruce may have, to a large extent, sacrificed this game at Old Trafford in favour of Everton at St James Park.

Most neutrals would believe NUFC have more chance of points on Saturday but is this the right move?

Clearly Carroll is first choice up front these days and likewise, Shelvey and Hayden first choice in central midfield.

This is Gayle’s first start, whilst Sean Longstaff has mostly struggled this season when getting a game and has only started once since the red card against Wolves 60 days ago. That start was in defeat at Burnley when Shelvey was injured.

As for Matty Longstaff, he hasn’t had a minute on the pitch, even as a sub, in these 60 days since starting against Wolves, when playing three in a row.

It looks a bit extreme throwing both of the Longstaff brothers in together.

Man Utd haven’t been great this season but going out at Old Trafford in front of 77,000 with only 19 Premier League starts between you, is a big ask.

Yes it is an opportunity as all first team starts are for young players but with Gayle also thrown in and Joelinton still struggling, it could go badly wrong.

There again, with the luck that Steve Bruce is carrying, we will no doubt see a hat-trick from each of the Longstaff brothers…

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