Predicted Newcastle team v Wolves – Two changes
Interesting to see what the Newcastle team v Wolves will be on Sunday afternoon.
Will the 4-1 defeat and performance impact on Steve Bruce’s selection process?
Despite Newcastle United facing more shots (28) in that defeat than any other Premier League team has faced in any game this season, Steve Bruce has claimed that Newcastle were unlucky, as they got to 86 minutes with the score still only 1-1.
With the NUFC Head Coach very publicly in denial, as though Newcastle had actually played well / ok, does it then lead to any expectation of him changing anything unless forced to?
The Newcastle team that started in that heavy 4-1 defeat and poor performance to Man Utd was:
Darlow, Krafth, Fernandez, Lascelles, Lewis, Shelvey, Hayden, Hendrick, Joelinton, Wilson, Saint-Maximin
At his press conference on Friday morning, Steve Bruce gave an update on injury and fitness.
The headline news is that Karl Darlow and Isaac Hayden are big doubts, due to injuries picked up against Man Utd. Bruce attracting a lot of criticism when not subbing the pair instantly when picking up injuries, indeed not taking Darlow off at all.
The NUFC Head Coach says he will monitor the two players on Friday and Saturday before making a decision.
I think for any sensible manager it would be an easy decision to give the two players at least this match off, however, this is Steve Bruce. The number of players out injured for a significant period of time, a big issue during Bruce’s 15 months at the club.
In terms of the rest of the squad, Sean Longstaff is available again after illness. Whilst Steve Bruce indicated that both Clark and Dummett are also available again after a reserve game early this week. However, Matty Longstaff appears to be a little behind them, Bruce saying he will play once again for the Under 23s today.
As it happens I do think Darlow won’t play in the end, as surely even Steve Bruce will listen to his medical staff and not risk him. Martin Dubravka won’t be back until December at the earliest, so I think we will see NUFC fan and former Newcastle youth player, Mark Gillespie, make his first PL appearance for the club.
Steve Bruce appears desperate to have Emil Krafth in the team, despite the defender not looking Premier League quality and partly at fault for the second and third goals against Man Utd.
So the Swede and Jamal Lewis the full-backs.
I think Sunday would be ideal to play five at the back but once again, I don’t think Bruce will do so, determined to plough on with ‘changing’ things as he claims, meaning a back four.
Lascelles hasn’t been great this season and was poor against Man Utd but he will stay play alongside Fernandez.
In midfield, once again I think Bruce will find the overwhelming opinion of his medical staff to not play Hayden and rest him.
Shelvey will no doubt play and Hendrick appears to be another Steve Bruce favourite for no discernible reason, totally anonymous since scoring and assisting a goal against West Ham in the opening match.
Fans have been calling for both Fraser and Almiron to play in recent games but I fear the more supporters rightly call for their inclusion, the more Bruce will dig his heels in and not give them their chance. So I see Sean Longstaff coming into the team in the middle of the pitch.
Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson are easy selections but then we get to Joelinton.
He has featured in every one of the 43 PL matches in the time he and Steve Bruce have been at the club, either as a starter or coming on as a sub.
Despite contributing next to nothing against Man Utd, my money will be on him staying in the side, Bruce resisting the calls for Almiron and Fraser to play, instead sticking with the likes of the Brazilian and Jeff Hendrick.
This gives us a predicted Newcastle team v Wolves:
Gillespie, Krafth, Fernandez, Lascelles, Lewis, Shelvey, Hendrick, Sean Longstaff, Joelinton, Wilson, Saint-Maximin
So just the two enforced changes I think in this predicted Steve Bruce selection for Sunday.
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