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Opinion

Predicted Newcastle team v Arsenal has nine changes

1 week ago
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Looking ahead to Saturday afternoon’s Newcastle team v Arsenal.

Steve Bruce comes into this game on the back of a terrible run of results, no win in the last six, with four defeats and two draws.

To make matters worse, in over six and a half hours of football, Newcastle have only scored a single goal.

We got a fair bit of guidance from the Steve Bruce pre-match press conference, as to which players would and wouldn’t be available for this Newcastle team v Arsenal.

The NUFC Head Coach confirming that Karl Darlow, Ryan Fraser, Allan Saint-Maximin and  Jamal Lewis won’t be involved on Saturday.

Darlow because Steve Bruce says Martin Dubravka needs to get his first start of the season, whilst the other three aren’t ready to play yet after injury or illness.

Steve Bruce confirming as well that he would be making a number of other changes, though didn’t specify how many.

Despite his claims of treating the cups as seriously as the Premier League, the facts say different.

The NUFC Head Coach started the League Cup campaign by making 10 changes against Blackburn and made 30 in total across the four League Cup rounds.

To help give a starting point, this was the 20 man Newcastle United squad that was selected against Leicester on Sunday:

Darlow, Yedlin, Schar, Fernandez, Clark, Ritchie, Sean Longstaff, Matty Longstaff, Almiron, Joelinton, Wilson (Subs Dubravka, Dummett, Carroll, Shelvey, Gayle, Hendrick, Krafth, Manquillo, Murphy)

I’m sure that Steve Bruce will also make extra changes to keep people for Tuesday night, a relegation six pointer against Sheffield United awaits.

The NUFC Head Coach has of course stated that Martin Dubravka will start, so just the ten in front of him to predict.

I think wholesale changes with a lot of players getting a game who haven’t had a lot of football recently, although I do think Steve Bruce will definitely use a five man defence once again.

Bruce says that Jamaal Lascelles has trained fine this week  and the doctors have given the go ahead for the captain to train and play again. So I think the only was Lascelles won’t play is if he himself says he is not ready, which I think is very unlikely.

I think a rest for all three centre-backs, with Schar, Fernandez and Clark all sitting this one out. I expect Krafth and Dummett to play either side of Jamaal Lascelles, both were on the bench against Leicester and have played in the back three before.

As for wing-backs, I think Ritchie will continue on the left, whilst I’m expecting a welcome return for Javier Manquillo on the right. He also was on the bench at St James Park on Sunday.

Isaac Hayden is set to come back in after having been suspended against Leicester, whilst Jonjo Shelvey is set for a game after coming on as a sub in that last match.

Dwight Gayle will surely get his first start of the season (unless maybe there is an imminent deal to sell him…) after being on the bench the last seven matches, with Wilson kept safe for Tuesday’s key PL match.

The final two places in the team I see Jacob Murphy and Miguel Almiron starting, with obviously a lot of expectation on them helping out in defence, as well as hopefully providing at least some decent support to Gayle.

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

As much as Steve Bruce would love to win on Saturday, I think he will be desperate to minimise the chances of any key players picking up injuries ahead of Tuesday at Bramall Lane.

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