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Opinion

Predicted Newcastle team v Everton has these three changes

1 month ago
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Looking ahead to Saturday afternoon’s Newcastle team v Everton.

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

This run including the two cup exits, as well as only two points from a possible twenty seven in the Premier League.

To make matters even worse, in the last fourteen hours of football, Newcastle have only scored two goals.

Only three Premier League clubs have conceded more goals than Newcastle United, whilst only one outside the bottom three has scored fewer goals than NUFC. Not a great combination and things drastically need to change at both ends of the pitch.

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 Everton.

The NUFC Head Coach confirming that Federico Fernandez wouldn’t be back for a few weeks at the earliest.

Whilst he indicated that Ciaran Clark and Paul Dummett probably wouldn’t be risked, as they’d just returned to training. Games are coming thick and fast with Palace at home on Tuesday, so no need to risk anybody.

Steve Bruce did though say DeAndre Yedlin would be available, as his visa issues are now sorted.

As for Matt Ritchie, with a possible move to Bournemouth in the offing, it is unlikely he will be named in the squad.

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

Darlow, Murphy, Lascelles, Hayden, Schar, Lewis, Hendrick, Shelvey, Almiron, Wilson, Fraser (Subs Dubravka, M Longstaff, Carroll, Joelinton, Saint-Maximin, Ritchie, Gayle, Krafth, Manquillo)

After his blunder for the first goal at Villa, Karl Darlow didn’t do a lot wrong against Leeds, but the goals continue to be conceded. I do wonder if Dubravka might have got closer to saving that winning Leeds goal, as it was struck from a difficult angle and across Darlow. It would still be harsh on Karl Darlow to be replaced but I think it could happen today.

Steve Bruce has been banging on about not being able to pick his best team this season, well Martin Dubravka has been fit for a while and is one of NUFC’s best 11, so I think the time may have come with Bruce making the goalkeeping change and putting out pretty much what I think he would say is his supposed best team.

Jacob Murphy is no defender and that was exposed against Leeds, so I think Manquillo will definitely return, although I suppose also a chance Yedlin could be considered.

On the other side, Jamal Lewis continues to struggle, but I think Steve Bruce will keep him in, especially with no obvious alternative if Dummett isn’t risked. I suppose Manquillo could switch to the left but that would surely ruin any dwindling confidence Lewis still has, if a makeshift left-back was preferred to him.

Schar was excellent on Tuesday night and looks set to line up alongside Jamaal Lascelles who continues to struggle to reach any level of decent form, the other three options for centre-back are all set to be ruled out though.

Steve Bruce has been messing Isaac Hayden around and played him as a third centre-back the last two games, before switching him to right-back during that Leeds match. Will surely return to centre midfield today if Bruce is serious about playing his best team.

I would never have Jonjo Shelvey in my team with his less than committed strolls around the pitch but I reckon Steve Bruce thinks differently. Shelvey disappointing yet again against Leeds but I think Bruce will keep him in. I would have probably put Matty Longstaff in alongside Hayden as I think they will be up against it against Everton’s midfield.

As for the other four selections, they surely pick themselves, so long as Allan Saint-Maximin is deemed fit enough to start.

Newcastle at least had a bit of a go in the second half against a tired Leeds team who are woeful at defending at the best of times.

United won’t find it anywhere near as easy getting any joy out of an Everton team with the the fifth best defensive record in the Premier League. However, at least we can hopefully put some players on the pitch who can now collectively create chances and even score goals, if Steve Bruce gives them the freedom and support to do so.

Callum Wilson will play the centre-forward role of course, then with Miguel Almiron behind him, the Paraguayan having been NUFC’s best player in recent games.

Then Ryan Fraser and ASM completing that attacking quartet.

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

Steve Bruce is in desperation territory now and even a draw would be something that he would gratefully grab with both hands.

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