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Predicted Newcastle team v Chelsea with so many players missing

3 weeks ago
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Looking ahead to the Newcastle team v Chelsea.

I know it is very exciting being in the middle of yet another international fortnight BUT proper football returns in only 10 days time.

It is a 12.30pm lunchtime kick-off on Saturday 21 November when Chelsea come to St James Park.

Steve Bruce and his team looking to bounce back from a feeble showing at Southampton, very lucky to lose by just the two goals.

The Newcastle team that started in that 2-0 defeat to Southampton:

Darlow, Murphy, Schar, Lascelles, Fernandez, Lewis, Hendrick, Sean Longstaff, Saint-Maximin, Wilson, Almiron

With on the bench:

Gillespie, Joelinton, Carroll, Manquillo, Hayden, Clark, Matty Longstaff

Steve Bruce said in the aftermath of that defeat on Friday, that a number of shirts were up for grabs.

So what is this likely Newcastle team v Chelsea?

Well, we are now looking at growing number of players who will be ruled out of this game, before we even get to changes that Bruce will choose to make.

The likes of Dwight Gayle, Matt Ritchie, Martin Dubravka and Jonjo Shelvey are all long-term injured and will still be missing.

However, Ryan Fraser will also not be available after picking up a hamstring tear.

Also surely ruled out is Callum Wilson. Forced off with appeared a hamstring injury at Southampton, media reports have claimed that scans have shown the injury not to be as bad as first feared, but surely even Steve Bruce won’t risk Newcastle’s most essential player…even if Wilson isn’t set to be out longer-term.

Also, seemingly definitely ruled out of the starting eleven against Chelsea is Miguel Almiron. Steve Bruce said last month that it was impossible to select Almiron for the home match against Man Utd because it came so soon after such a lengthy journey back to Tyneside from South America after internationals. Well, this time there is half a day left in between Almiron playing for Paraguay (early hours of next Wednesday – UK time) and then the lunchtime kick-off on Saturday against Chelsea.

Paul Dummett is yet another player where it is impossible to see him being considered to start against Chelsea, he hasn’t played in the Premier League for 10 months and at most could only be considered for a place on the bench as he recovers from long-term injury.

So with those eight players ruled out (in my opinion) as starters against Chelsea, we are left with these 18:

Darlow, Gillespie

Yedlin, Krafth, Manquillo, Murphy, Schar, Lascelles, Fernandez, Lewis, Clark

Hendrick, Sean Longstaff, Saint-Maximin, Hayden, Matty Longstaff

Joelinton, Carroll

A very lop-sided set of options, as of the 18 above, I make it that 11 of them are goalkeepers and defensive options, including four different right-back or right wing-back options!

It seems inevitable that Steve Bruce will play five at the back, especially against decent opposition and with the players set to be available.

Further up the pitch, things don’t look so great in terms of options.

I think Allan Saint-Maximin has maybe looked like he could do with taking out of the firing line for a match as his form has dipped BUT with a lack of attacking threat elsewhere, he will definitely play from the start.

My money for the predicted Newcastle team v Chelsea is on the following line-up:

Darlow, Murphy, Schar, Lascelles, Fernandez, Lewis, Hayden, Hendrick, Sean Longstaff, Saint-Maximin, Joelinton

With a bench of:

Gillespie, Manquillo, Krafth, Clark, Matty Longstaff, Almiron, Carroll

I think there will always be a possibility of Steve Bruce playing Andy Carroll from the start but hopefully not, as his total lack of mobility makes it so easy for the opposition to build from the back, as well as the fact it is 31 months since Carroll scored in the Premier League!

Almiron should be ok to be on the bench despite his travels, whilst in that predicted starting eleven, if Newcastle are to have any attacking threat then Sean Longstaff would need to get forward to help out ASM and Joelinton.

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