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Opinion

Predicted Newcastle team v Burnley to be chosen by Steve Bruce

9 months ago
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Only two days now until the Newcastle team v Burnley is unveiled.

Steve Bruce talking about making a number of changes.

With any number of positions, as well as tactics/formation said to be under review.

What is clear, is that NUFC need some inspiration from somewhere, whether that is different players and/or tactics/formation.

It is now four and a half hours without a goal, nine Premier League games with only one win, only seven goals in the last eleven PL matches.

I think Steve Bruce will do something relatively radical this weekend and if it all goes wrong, he will as usual blame the players and Rafa Benitez, saying he has tried his best but the players aren’t capable of doing what is necessary in the system/tactics he ideally wants to play.

I think this will be the moment that he goes to a back four.

To be honest, despite playing the established three centre-back formation Newcastle are looking increasingly vulnerable at the back and at risk of conceding a lot of goals.

They conceded four against Arsenal but could have conceded that many at home to Norwich, who were feeble with their finishing. Palace could and should have scored even more and would have done if not for Dubravka and their own limited strikers, Benteke and Ayew.

Lazaro is suspended and so I can see DeAndre Yedlin coming in at right-back, with Fernandez and Lascelles as the centre-backs.

Whoever Burnley choose up front they will provide a physical threat, those two are best equipped to deal with that.

Whether or not Steve Bruce has any choice on if he plays the January loan signings, I think he will keep Danny Rose in the team. Maybe in a traditional back four set-up we will see better from the England international, who has been really poor so far.

I think Bentaleb will also stay in the team, he is another who has been poor since coming in on loan and the majority of fans would like to see left out. Instead my money is on Steve Bruce replacing Sean Longstaff with Isaac Hayden in an attempt to improve the middle of the pitch, where NUFC were a poor second best at Palace.

Similar to the January loans, I’m not sure whether Bruce even has the choice of leaving out Joelinton. After/before every match, the Head Coach has nothing new to say apart from hoping the Brazilian might get better if he keeps playing him.

The slightly radical thing though I fancy he will do, is pair Joelinton with Dwight Gayle, in the hope it might provide a goal threat. Both of them work hard and track back so helping the defence isn’t so much of an issue, it is whether they can create problems at the other end.

ASM and Almiron on the wings completes this predicted team.

As a fan, my hope would be if this is indeed going to be Steve Bruce’s selection, that it would help get this pair further up the pitch as their usual starting position when getting the ball, rather than near their own box.

This is how I predict Steve Bruce’s Newcastle team v Burnley will look:

Here’s hoping we see positive changes as this slide is looking ever more ominous, increasingly reliant on the teams below not picking up points.

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