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Opinion

Predicted Newcastle team v Sheffield United

3 days ago
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All eyes are now on the Newcastle team v Sheffield United.

Steve Bruce heading back to Bramall Lane after 20 years away, resigning after only one year in the job back in 1999.

The Newcastle United Head Coach is hoping to see his players build on Saturday’s surprise point against Man City.

Predicting this team is a tricky one, as changes seem all but certain.

Indeed, Steve Bruce has indicated this will be the case:

“Going on to Thursday (Sheffield United away) and then Sunday (Southampton at home) has got me thinking (about changes)…but we will address that on Thursday.

“I’m thinking of changes, which is something I believe we will have to do because of the amount of games we have to play.”

Newcastle have eight games in a 30 day stretch starting Thursday and have a massive game on Sunday at home to Southampton, so a case of balancing resources as less than 65 hours between one match ending and the other kicking off.

Sheffield United are proving a real handful this season and as well as bearing in mind the more ‘winnable’ game on Sunday, the playing style of the Blades may also help dictate the team selection.

Making changes will also keep the squad happy with other players getting time on the pitch.

For me, the most obvious change is to be in central midfield.

Jonjo Shelvey ended Sunday on a massive high but I see the more mobile Sean Longstaff coming in alongside Isaac Hayden to combat the high energy opposition midfield. Steve Bruce able to then have Shelvey fully focused on Southampton at the weekend.

At the back, a little bit of rotation there will see Fabian Schar back in the team I believe. A bit of a toss up between Clark and Dummett to be rested but probably the latter.

I think common sense to maybe give Allan Saint-Maximin a bit of a breather and ensure he is fully fit for Sunday’s game. Atsu has been effective this season and deserves a chance, getting another assist against Man City.

My final change is for Joelinton to be finally taken out of the firing line. Not necessarily as a negative for him as I don’t think it will do the Brazilian any harm to get a rest, with an expectation of returning against Southampton.

Sheffield United don’t have the quickest centre-backs so another reason for Gayle to at last get a chance.

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

I would take a point if offered it now but no reason Newcastle can’t get a positive result if matching the home side’s energy.

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