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Opinion

Predicted Newcastle team v Rochdale in FA Cup third round

10 months ago
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All eyes are now on the Newcastle team v Rochdale on Saturday.

The second match of 2020 seeing a massive challenge for United.

After a disaster of a day against Leicester City, Newcastle fans wondering if things are set to get even worse as their FA Cup adventure kicks off once again.

Only six FA Cup games have been won in over 12 years under Mike Ashley.

Indeed, despite entering each year in Round One, Rochdale have actually reached the fourth round of the FA Cup more times in these past six years than Newcastle.

Steve Bruce would no doubt have made changes regardless but with the injury list as it is now, which Bruce himself has significantly contributed to with poor squad management, the team to a large extent may well pick itself.

For Leicester, the injury list read Lascelles, Saint-Maximin, Dummett, Ritchie and Clark.

Yesterday, we saw Willems, Shelvey, Manquillo and Schar all forced off with injuries as well, a goring problem and three with hamstrings.

I think we can take for granted none of the quartet forced off against Leicester could or should be considered.

Whilst Steve Bruce has indicated that of the longer-term injured, Dummett is the only one who stands a chance of playing against Rochdale.

There had been talk of Ritchie potentially making a comeback but that hope seems to have faded.

So with Darlow set to get a game in goal, I think we are looking at a back four of Krafth on the right and then Fernandez, Dummett and Watts set to complete the defence.

Twenty year old Kelland Watts has been training with the first team and is surely set to be involved, he is usually a left-sided centre-back but can play left-back and could play there, allowing Dummett a less demanding return at centre-back.

Yedlin is believed to have broken his hand against Leicester and I suppose theoretically could play with a light cast but no reason to risk him in this game in my opinion and give him a chance to sort his recovery/treatment out.

More options further forward in the team although maybe a case of fitting players into positions where they don’t usually play.

I think Sean Longstaff will obviously play and he can be holding midfield, then Ki Sung- Yeung, Matty Longstaff and Christian Astu playing in front of him.

Gayle is set to play up front with Muto to ‘help’ him.

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

Karl Darlow

Emil Krafth

Federico Fernandez

Paul Dummett

Kelland Watts

Sean Longstaff

Ki Sung-yeung

Matty Longstaff

Christian Atsu

Yoshinori Muto

Dwight Gayle

 

Newcastle travel to Rochdale, a team eighteenth in League One but who will be well up for this one.

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