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Predicted Newcastle team v West Ham after Steve Bruce update

1 week ago
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Interesting to see what the Newcastle team v West Ham will be tonight.

After a run of only four wins in the final 20 Premier League matches last season, it would obviously be a much welcome boost to Steve Bruce and his team / squad if they can get a positive result in East London.

This West Ham match coming less than seven weeks since the 2019/20 final day 3-1 defeat to Liverpool at St James Park.

The NUFC Head Coach gave an update to media yesterday that has given us some clues as to who will be playing, who definitely won’t be involved, as well as some who might be selected, depending on injury and fitness.

Steve Bruce confirmed that as well as Martin Dubravka and Dwight Gayle, Matty Longstaff and Fabian Schar are also ruled out through injury.

On top of that, Bruce also said that Ciaran Clark and Paul Dummett won’t be involved, as still not fully recovered after seven and eight months out respectively, due to injury.

In the possibles section, the Head Coach says that he has concerns about both Matt Ritchie and Jonjo Shelvey, who have had calf and knee issues respectively, Steve Bruce waiting to see how they are on Saturday before the match.

Whilst Bruce says he is monitoring how Ryan Fraser is getting on in training but after six months without playing football and only a few days of pre-season training with any club this close season, it would be the bench at best for Fraser.

Playing away at the Hammers has actually been one of the more productive NUFC away trips in recent times, especially when it comes to matches in the capital.

In total, Newcastle have won nine times at West Ham in the Premier League era, with only the ten victories at Tottenham surpassing that.

So who will make up this predicted Newcastle team v West Ham?

Buoyed by a new five year contract announced on Friday, Karl Darlow will start in goal. Has let some poor goals in against Middlesbrough and Stoke in the friendlies but in Dubravka’s absence, will definitely start ahead of new third keeper signing Mark Gillespie.

Steve Bruce has said that Jamal Lewis will make his debut, which will then allow Manquillo to play in his favoured right-back position.

Lascelles and Fernandez are the clear first choice centre-back pairing and I would be very surprised if it wasn’t a back four to kick off the season against West Ham. This looking set to be the first choice back four this season, unless something happens in the transfer market or injuries intervene.

No matter what the claimed formation last season, it was very difficult at times to see exactly what Steve Bruce’s tactics were, the set-up he was trying to play. Mainly because the whole team ended up defending most of the time, due to the over the top negative tactics.

Hopefully we will see some more enterprising tactics and I would divide the other six predicted starters into two groups of three.

Almiron and ASM will surely start and then despite some suggestions Andy Carroll might lead the line, surely Callum Wilson will be playing from the off. He has had a pre-season with Bournemouth and now after a week with his new teammates, will be hoping to score against his favourite team, with seven of his 41 Premier League goals coming against West Ham.

Welcome news yesterday that Isaac Hayden has signed a new six year deal and he is sure to start.

Alongside him in the middle will be Sean Longstaff in my opinion, along with Hayden they are the two NUFC players to play most minutes in the friendlies. Longstaff likely to get some license to get forward and he is the Newcastle central midfielder that is the most likely to get goals.

I think it then leaves it between Shelvey and Hendrick for the final place.

I’m sure Steve Bruce would like to start Jonjo Shelvey but having had this knock to his knee, he might err on the side of caution, especially considering the atrocious injury record at NUFC since Bruce arrived, not helped by the Head Coach playing players too early at times after injury problems.

Jeff Hendrick only played 60 minutes in the pre-season friendlies but has shown his fitness when playing the full 90 minutes for the Republic of Ireland on international duty. So I fancy Hendrick to get the nod and Shelvey likely to be an impact sub.

That gives us a predicted Newcastle team v West Ham of:

Darlow, Manquillo, Lascelles, Fernandez, Lewis, Hayden, Sean Longstaff, Hendrick, Almiron, ASM, Wilson

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