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Opinion

Predicted Newcastle team v Fulham has four changes

9 months ago
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Looking ahead to tonight’s Newcastle team v Fulham.

Steve Bruce come into the game having failed to win three Premier League games in a row for the first time in 12 years.

The late wins in tight games against Palace and West Brom followed by a hammering from Leeds, even though it took the final 13 minutes for them to convert their clear superiority into goals.

Steve Bruce spoke about the injury and fitness situation on Friday morning and said it was good and bad news.

The NUFC Head Coach saying there had been no new injuries picked up in the Leeds match.

However, he also confirmed that there were still ‘four or five missing through illness’, appearing to indicate that nobody will be added to the squad who wasn’t available on Wednesday at Leeds.

So as well as long-term injured Dubravka and Dummett, the likes of Lascelles, Schar, Manquillo and Saint-Maximin will also still be missing you assume.

The Newcastle team and subs v Leeds were:

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

So when it comes to possibilities for the Newcastle team v Fulham, it looks like the 18 above who were in the squad for Leeds.

Surprisingly, I haven’t read anything about Steve Bruce being quizzed on whether he was making this Fulham game, or the Brentford cup match on Tuesday, his biggest priority.

Obviously he would have just given the usual waffle about every match is important but still, surprised it wasn’t a main topic of debate.

For example, if say Callum Wilson starts tonight, surely that means he won’t be also starting at Brentford. Steve Bruce has once again gone on at length this month about looking after players and using his squad etc, tonight would be a third start in a week for Wilson and Tuesday only three days away.

Personally, I think we will see the full strength Newcastle team v Fulham tonight, or at least a side prioritised over the one to be picked for Brentford.

I see Steve Bruce playing a back five against Scott Parker’s side, so in front of Karl Darlow it will be Fernandez and Clark with Hayden I believe dropping in alongside them, with Lascelles, Schar and Dummett all set to be missing again.

My main reasoning is that this would then allow Murphy and Ritchie to play as wing-backs. Lewis has really struggled the last couple of matches and could do with taking out of the firing line. Ritchie isn’t great as a left-back but wing-back suits, whilst a similar story on the other side with Murphy. Krafth poor as usual against Leeds and Yedlin vey much on the fringes now.

In the middle of the pitch, Steve Bruce will bring Jonjo Shelvey back in, with Jeff Hendrick set to partner him. Hendrick clearly a big favourite of Bruce’s was totally anonymous at Leeds apart from when appearing out of nowhere for the opening goal. Sean Longstaff another who needs taken out of the firing line as he looked totally out of sorts on Wednesday.

I’m expecting (and hoping!) for a new look attacking threat and tonight I fancy we will see Wilson, Gayle and Almiron getting the chance of playing together, with Joelinton benched. Ryan Fraser did ok on Wednesday and helped create both goals, however, two games in such quick succession after a long period out would be surely too much risk.

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

A back five but hopefully used positively, with Ritchie and Murphy encouraged to get forward as often as possible.

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