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Opinion

Predicted Newcastle team v Liverpool – Three changes

4 months ago
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Interesting to see what the Newcastle team v Liverpool will be.

On a run of only four wins in the last nineteen Premier League matches, it would be a morale booster if NUFC can pick up a point or better against the champions.

Only two points from these last five PL games see Steve Bruce and his team now desperate for the season to end.

At his press conference on Saturday morning, the NUFC Head Coach said that none of his injured defenders were ready to return and that Emil Krafth was now set to miss the Liverpool game, after picking up an injury at Brighton.

However, Steve Bruce said that so long as they experienced no setbacks in training, both Sean Longstaff and Isaac Hayden will be available.

Asked whether twenty year old centre-back Kell Watts might get a chance, Bruce indicated it was unlikely with it being five months since Watts had played a match.

Quite incredible how Steve Bruce has refused to give young players any chance whatsoever despite these final PL games after restart having nothing of note resting on them.

This was the starting eleven against Brighton on Monday:

Dubravka, Manquillo, Krafth, Fernandez, Rose, Shelvey, Bentaleb, Almiron, Ritchie, Gayle, Saint-Maximin

I can see maybe three changes to be made in all.

Steve Bruce was bizarrely ultra defensive at Brighton and difficult to see that changing.

He used a back five on the south coast and it looks nailed on that Bruce will keep that against the champions.

Dubravka looks a certainty to make his 88th Premier League start in a row.

With then Manquillo and Ritchie as wing-backs.

Fernandez, Rose and Krafth were the three in the middle at Brighton and I expect Isaac Hayden to come in for the injured Krafth. There is no way I would rush a key player like Hayden back into the team for a meaningless game, however, Steve Bruce has often done this and I have no doubt he will play Hayden unless he breaks down in training.

The same in central midfield, with I think Sean Longstaff thrown straight back in after injury to partner Shelvey. Bentaleb was poor as usual at Brighton and will drop out.

With six days recuperation I think Almiron and ASM will definitely play and I just hope they are given at least some license to play further up the pitch, rather than operating just as additional defenders for the 90 minutes.

After being a sub for the past three games, I think every chance that Steve Bruce will play Joelinton instead of Dwight Gayle through the middle. All a bit of a pointless exercise though if he doesn’t get any support.

So this is how I predict Steve Bruce’s Newcastle team v Liverpool will look and a suggested formation:

Whatever team Steve Bruce puts out, here’s hoping NUFC don’t end the season with a defeat and only two points from their last six games of the season.
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