Predicted Newcastle team v Crystal Palace has three changes
Looking ahead to tonight’s Newcastle team v Crystal Palace.
Consecutive defeats to Southampton and Chelsea ramping up the pressure as Newcastle drop to fifteenth, only struggling clubs below making the picture look a little better.
It was 2-0 in both of these last two matches but could easily have been five or six, whilst at the other end of the pitch, Newcastle have had only three efforts on target in over three hours of football.
Steve Bruce spoke about the injury and fitness situation on Thursday morning and there were a fair few elements to the situation ahead of tonight’s game.
Steve Bruce confirming that Callum Wilson, Jonjo Shelvey and Matt Ritchie would all be available for Crystal Palace. Dwight Gayle is now back in training but this game definitely looks too early for starting eleven availability.
Bruce also said that Jamaal Lascelles is a doubt after picking up the injury against Chelsea that saw him subbed halfway through the game.
Andy Carroll is definitely out with his latest (calf) injury, what a joke it was giving him a contract back in summer 2019, then an even bigger joke giving him another year this summer (2020) gone.
Martin Dubravka, Paul Dummett and Ryan Fraser are still ruled out.
To add to the complicated availability picture, Steve Bruce also revealed that at least three players and staff are self-isolating, the Head Coach saying amongst the trio is a first team regular who would otherwise have started tonight.
Isaac Hayden and Emil Krafth weren’t pictured amongst Wednesday training images released by the club, leading many fans to assume that Bruce is referring to Hayden.
The Newcastle team and subs v Chelsea were:
Darlow, Manquillo, Lascelles, Fernandez, Clark, Lewis, Hayden, Sean Longstaff, Murphy, Saint-Maximin, Joelinton (Subs: Gillespie, Schar, Carroll, Shelvey, Hendrick, Krafth, Almiron)
I think that it is very likely we will see Newcastle revert back to a back four, especially if Lascelles is missing.
Steve Bruce has made clear he doesn’t rate Fabian Schar and with Ciaran Clark coming in against Chelsea and ending up the best of a poor bunch at the back, I think he will partner Fernandez in the middle.
Jamal Lewis on the left and whilst he was poor against Chelsea, I think Manquillo will stay in. Jacob Murphy wouldn’t be a good idea as an out and out right back, plus there is a chance that Krafth is also one of the trio self-isolating. Not that he is good enough but Steve Bruce has selected him at times.
I fancy Shelvey to definitely come back in, having been on the bench last weekend. A Bruce favourite, I expect (and hope!) he will be paired with Sean Longstaff and not Jeff Hendrick.
Jacob Murphy I think will get a right wing spot, especially as he tracks back well.
Leaving hopefully Steve Bruce to give a better attacking platform and have Newcastle play higher up the pitch, giving Wilson, ASM and Almiron more chance of providing a threat.
Wilson will surely start if indeed fit, Joelinton really poor against Chelsea.
Whilst I think a good chance Allan Saint-Maximin will return to the left wing spot as playing him up front in a free role hasn’t worked, leaving him even more starved of the ball.
Playing ASM on the left will hopefully then give Almiron the chance to play higher up in support of Wilson.
Making the predicted Newcastle team v Crystal Palace look something like this:
Newcastle playing in a 4-2-3-1 formation as indicated above, or maybe 4-4-1-1. Just so long as it isn’t the usual Steve Bruce 10-0-0!
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