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Opinion

Predicted Newcastle team v Leeds has these five changes

6 months ago
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Looking ahead to Tuesday night’s Newcastle team v Leeds.

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

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

To make matters even worse, in the last thirteen hours of football, Newcastle have only scored a single goal, Andy Carroll’s late consolation effort against Leicester – his first Premier League goal in 33 months.

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 whilst Allan Saint-Maximin is set to be in the matchday squad once again after his brief sub appearance at Villa, he won’t be risked from the start after eight weeks out and only just over a week back in training.

Steve Bruce also revealing that Federico Fernandez, Ciaran Clark and Paul Dummett won’t be involved at all.

Meanwhile, the NUFC Head Coach said that it is ’50/50′ as to whether Javier Manquillo will be available for this game.

It appears that DeAndre Yedlin will also once again be missing, with Newcastle United not able to play him due to visa issues.

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

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

The pressure is piling on and it has now reached the ridiculous point where on Monday, Steve Bruce refused to answer any questions from newspaper journalists ahead of this Leeds match.

An absolute disgrace and Bruce, Ashley and Charnley should hang their heads in shame.

Yet another example of why the three of them are unfit to have anything at all to do with Newcastle United.

As for tonight’s team…Steve Bruce has repeatedly shown that he hasn’t got a clue as to how to get the best out of this squad, time after time making wholesale changes and claiming he has changed the tactics. Yet to Newcastle fans there has been no visible difference, just the same old negative mess, all out defence and no plan on how to create chances, never mind score goals.

For this Leeds match I can only see once again numerous changes.

I think the big surprise tonight will be Martin Dubravka coming back in.

Steve Bruce desperate to try anything new and of all the changes he has made this season, playing Dubravka in the PL hasn’t been one of them.

Darlow has been outstanding and doesn’t deserve to be dropped BUT I think Bruce will use the keeper’s mistake and bizarre non-attempt to save the first Villa goal, as his excuse for change.

Leeds will come at Newcastle, no question, and surely even Steve Bruce will see the essential need to have Isaac Hayden in midfield to at least give some resistance to the control Bielsa’s team will surely exert in the middle of the pitch.

Guessing Bruce will be wanting to stick with five at the back and so if Hayden returns to midfield, then I see Krafth becoming the third centre-back alongside Lascelles and Schar, a position the Swede has played before.

With Yedlin and likely Manquillo absent, it looks like Jacob Murphy will be back in to play right wing-back.

Whilst with Lewis struggling on the left, Matt Ritchie may also come back in on the left.

As I said above, Hayden to be back in midfield, but who alongside him?

Personally, I wouldn’t give Shelvey another game after his latest stroll at Villa Park. However, Steve Bruce clearly likes him and I think will stick with Jonjo Shelvey.

Up front, you just hope Callum Wilson is not set for another night starved of service.

I’m hoping that even Steve Bruce will see how pointless it is to play Andy Carroll, so little mobility and it would make it even easier for Leeds to play out from the back.

Steve Bruce has been talking up Ryan Fraser ahead of this game and he actually put the crosses in for the two goals at Elland Road in that 5-2 hammering, so I think he will be on the left.

Miguel Almiron was easily Newcastle’s best player at Villa, only he and Wilson running around, hopefully with Fraser also playing, this trio can just maybe cause Leeds problems on the break, plus pressure them (Leeds) when in possession.

Making the predicted Newcastle team v Leeds 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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