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Opinion

Predicted Newcastle team v Brentford has nine changes

4 months ago
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Looking ahead to Tuesday night’s Newcastle team v Brentford.

Steve Bruce comes into this game on the back of two really poor performances against Leeds and Fulham.

The prize though in this match, a place in the League Cup semi-finals.

Steve Bruce spoke about the injury and fitness situation on Monday morning and appeared to indicate that none of the players who had been unavailable for the Fulham match on Saturday, would now be available for Brentford either.

The NUFC Head Coach stated that for sure Allan Saint- Maximin and Martin Dubravka wouldn’t be involved, whilst he didn’t appear to think any chance either of Federico Fernandez being available after having been forced off on Saturday at half-time with fatigue.

The Newcastle team and subs v Fulham were:

Darlow, Yedlin, Fernandez, Clark, Dummett, Sean Longstaff, Shelvey, Ritchie, Almiron, Joelinton, Wilson (Subs: Gillespie, Carroll, Gayle, Krafth, Hayden, Lewis, Hendrick, Fraser, Murphy)

So when it comes to possibilities for the Newcastle team v Brentford, it looks like the 20 above (almost certainly less Federico Fernandez)who were in the squad for Fulham, plus maybe 18 year old midfielder Elliot Anderson who was left out of the Under 23s 3-0 defeat at Crystal Palace on Monday.

Steve Bruce insists he will put a strong team out but then pretty much every manager says / claims the same. so no guarantee there won’t be multiple changes from Saturday’s starting eleven. Back in the second round against another Championship team in Blackburn in September, Steve Bruce made 10 changes but still insisted it was a strong team, even though the Magpies were totally dominated and scored a winner with their only serious effort on goal.

Starting at the back, after starting the three rounds so far, no reason to believe Mark Gillespie won’t start tonight.

It looks set to be Clark and Hayden at centre-back for sure, unless Fernandez is surprisingly feeling well enough to start.

I think it will be a back four, although at times Steve Bruce has used Emil Krafth as a third central defender, so a small chance we could still go with a back five.

I still think the Swede will play but as a straight right-back replacement for Yedlin who had his first Premier League start since July on Saturday.

Paul Dummett started his first match for 11 months against Fulham and surely he will not be risked as a starter again, only three days later. Jamal Lewis expected to return after having been taken out of the firing line at the weekend, Ritchie as an alternative if any reason Lewis can’t be involved.

Sean Longstaff has started and played the full duration of these three PL games against promoted clubs in the space of Saturday to Saturday. As well as a risk of overplaying him, sadly the older Longstaff brother has struggled for form as well.

So I see Hendrick and Shelvey starting in the middle of the pitch, though I do fancy Matty Longstaff to get on at some point tonight.

Jacob Murphy will surely get a start, whilst Ryan Fraser I think will definitely come back in as a starter after being one of the few to do himself credit at Leeds last week, helping to create the two goals.

Dwight Gayle looks sure to start in my opinion, so then it comes down to who plays alongside him.

Callum Wilson is another player who has played every minute of those three PL matches from Saturday to Saturday last week and surely even Steve Bruce won’t risk Newcastle’s most important player by starting him yet again. I think he will be on the bench though obviously if needed later on.

You can never rule out Joelinton as Bruce appears to pick him regardless of form on so many occasions, however, I don’t think he will tonight. The Brazilian also started the three matches against the promoted clubs so no harm if he is given a rest as well.

Andy Carroll has been agitating for some football, not having started a game since the last round of this competition when Newcastle were taken to penalties against Newport. Steve Bruce came out in recent days to publicly reassure the striker he would be getting a decent amount of time in this busy period of matches and surely tonight will be one for him to start.

Making the predicted Newcastle team v Brentford look something like this:

Hopefully whichever side is picked, it will be enough for Newcastle United to be in that semi-final draw.

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