Predicted Newcastle team v Leeds has five changes
Looking ahead to tonight’s Newcastle team v Leeds.
Newcastle left it late both times, yet somehow go into this match on the back of consecutive victories.
Steve Bruce looking to win three Premier League games in a row for the first time in 12 years.
Steve Bruce spoke about the injury and fitness situation on Tuesday morning and confirmed that at least six players will be missing at Leeds.
As well as long-term injured Dubravka and Dummett, the likes of Lascelles, Schar, Manquillo and Saint-Maximin will also still be missing.
The NUFC Head Coach also said that he would be looking closely at the fatigue / fitness levels in particular of Isaac Hayden and unnamed others, who had played against West Brom having previously had the virus.
Steve Bruce did confirm though that Federico Fernandez was available again after self-isolating, whilst Ryan Fraser was also back in the squad, having had a hamstring injury.
Teenager Elliot Anderson won’t be involved at Leeds, the promising 18 year old was back playing with the younger age group last night, helping NUFC progress in the FA Youth Cup, beating Huddersfield on penalties.
The Newcastle team and subs v West Brom were:
Darlow, Krafth, Hayden, Clark, Lewis, Shelvey, S Longstaff, Ritchie, Almiron, Joelinton, Wilson (Subs: Langley, M Longstaff, Carroll, Gayle, Hendrick, Yedlin, Murphy)
So when it comes to possibilities, it looks like the 18 above who were in the squad for West Brom, plus Fernandez and Fraser.
Steve Bruce says there will be changes and I think this will definitely be the case, especially with the number of games to be played.
Darlow of course will start in goal but up against an attack-minded opposition, I definitely think Steve Bruce will go with five at the back.
Fernandez to come back in and play alongside Clark and Hayden. I know Bruce saying he is going to keep careful eye on Isaac Hayden’s (and others) physical condition but so long as he is ok, it is far less demanding for him to play as a central defender than central midfield.
With containment top of Bruce’s priority list more than ever tonight and up against a team that pass and move quickly, I see it perfect for Yedlin to get a rare start. Whilst on the other side, Lewis can maybe do with a rest anyway after not having a very good game against West Brom, whilst Matt Ritchie has done well in the wing-back role previously.
Again balancing things with Saturday (Fulham home) and Tuesday (Brentford away) in mind, mixing it up in midfield and attack is surely a no-brainer. It wouldn’t be my choice but I think Jeff Hendrick will definitely be brought back in by Steve Bruce and play alongside Sean Longstaff, will Shelvey dropping to the bench.
I think Saturday’s super subs Gayle and Murphy will both get a game, with pace / mobility needed to try and contain Leeds and provide some threat, Joelinton and Wilson amongst the subs.
Then similarly, Almiron keeping his place to defend and try to support a lonely Dwight Gayle.
Making the predicted Newcastle team v Leeds look something like this:
Newcastle playing in a 5-2-3 formation as indicated above, or more likely I am guessing the reality will look like a 5-4-1 with Dwight Gayle very isolated.
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