The predicted Newcastle team v Tottenham
Interesting to see what the Newcastle team v Tottenham will be on Sunday.
After a run of only four wins in the final 20 Premier League matches last season, it was obviously a much welcome boost to see Newcastle win at West Ham on the opening night of the season.
However, it was a sobering experience to watch that shocker of a performance last Sunday, when Brighton could and should have won by more than the eventual three goal margin.
The fact that playing at home against a club / team most would expect them to finish above, Newcastle couldn’t even manage a single effort on target, has to be a concern.
To then go and hammer a feeble Morecambe (ended last season as 89th worst of 91 teams in the leagues) by seven, who knows what tells us, if anything.
On Friday, Steve Bruce said about that display against Morecambe: ‘Maybe five or six of them have made a big claim to be in the team [against Tottenham] at the weekend’, so will that convert into multiple changes against Tottenham? I doubt it.
The NUFC Head Coach also said that Ciaran Clark was back on the injury list, whilst stating Ryan Fraser wouldn’t be considered to start either: ‘We have purposely left him out. He has now played two and a half hours so it’s still early and we have to be careful with him. I’m just a bit guarded with him because his game is all about pace and being explosive so that game time will do him a world of good.’
Allan Saint-Maximin and Jamal Lewis were forced out of action during that defeat to Brighton last weekend and Steve Bruce said he would make a decision on their availability against Tottenham, after they had trained with the squad on Friday afternoon.
My thoughts on what will happen in the selection of the Newcastle team v Tottenham…
I think the back five will stay the same.
Darlow in goal, then Manquillo, Lascelles, Fernandez and Lewis as the four in front of him.
Lewis did get a nasty studs to the face eye injury but if he was ok to train on Friday then I can’t see that as an injury that will prevent him starting. Plus we have no obvious alternatives with Dummett still unavailable.
Shelvey, Hayden and Hendrick look set to continue in Bruce’s Premier League team.
All of them poor against Brighton but I’m guessing Steve Bruce won’t have seen enough on Wednesday to make him think of putting Sean Longstaff in.
However, I do see two changes in the attacking trio.
Andy Carroll was woeful against Brighton and his total lack of mobility is a massive negative in making it difficult for the opposition to build from the back.
As for Allan Saint-Maximin, he didn’t look up for it against West Ham and against Brighton clearly wasn’t 100%, whether physically or mentally who knows, maybe a bit of both.
Even if passed fit physically for Sunday, surely he will be stepped down to the bench and taken out of the firing line.
As for replacements, Miguel Almiron is a no brainer. He should have started in the first two Premier League games and even when not able to do much going forward, within Bruce’s negative tactics the Paraguayan is always worth his place for the defensive work he puts in.
Then we have Joelinton.
Steve Bruce will be desperate to put the Brazilian back into the team, no doubt Mike Ashley making clear to the Head Coach how keen he is as well, to see his £40m+ star signing starting again.
Bruce no doubt will use the Brazilian’s two goals in midweek to justify his selection and so that gives us a predicted Newcastle team v Tottenham of:
Darlow, Manquillo, Lascelles, Fernandez, Lewis, Hayden, Shelvey, Hendrick, Almiron, Joelinton, Wilson
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