The predicted Newcastle team v Oxford
All eyes are now on the Newcastle team v Oxford today..
After eventually beating Rochdale at the second attempt, NUFC now look towards being in the fifth round draw on Monday night.
A win at St James Park against another League One side would see Newcastle United into the FA Cup fifth round for the first time since 2006.
On Friday morning, Steve Bruce gave a fitness/injury update for this Oxford game.
He said Allan Saint-Maximin and Joelinton should be available, as well as loan signing Nabil Bentaleb, though Valentino Lazaro won’t b involved as his paperwork wasn’t completed in time.
The Head Coach revealed that Florian Lejeune and Emil Krafth picked up injuries at Everton and are ruled out, with Andy Carroll, Paul Dummett, Jetro Willems and Dwight Gayle also not available. You then have another trio in Yoshinori Muto, Ki Sung-yeung and Javier Manquillo where they are likely to be on the missing list as well, though no mention/confirmation on them from Steve Bruce.
Formerly out on loan players such as Rolando Aarons, Liam Gibson and Kelland Watts are all ineligible to play due to having played in the FA Cup for their loan clubs.
So what does that leave us with?
Well with Steve Bruce insisting once again that he will play his strongest side, I have came up with the starting eleven below.
Dubravka started at Rochdale and Darlow in the replay, Dubravka obviously the number one and I can’t see Steve Bruce doing anything other than playing the Slovakian international.
With centre-backs, we have Lascelles, Schar, Clark and Fernandez, with my money on the Argentine international getting a rest today.
Steve Bruce has indicated that Nabil Bentaleb is fully fit and set to make his debut, with for me a midfield four completed by Shelvey, Ritchie and the versatile Hayden.
With ASM and Joelinton reported to be fit by Bruce, they look set to play, with the excellent Miguel Almiron completing this predicted eleven.
A strong team and no doubt the plan/hope is that they can overwhelm this League One opposition and then look after one or two players hopefully, as well as a chance to give others time on the pitch.
As we know though from painful experience, plans can quickly go out of the window once the game kicks off, against any opposition.
The above gives me this predicted Newcastle team v Oxford:
Here’s hoping our FA Cup run is still running at 5pm later today…
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