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Predicted Newcastle team v Aston Villa has these two changes

4 months ago
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Looking ahead to tonight’s Newcastle team v Aston Villa.

Steve Bruce comes into this game on the back of an eighteen game run with only two victories.

Twelve defeats and four draws, an ever so bleak run of form these past three 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 Aston Villa.

Steve Bruce delivered the news on injury, fitness and potential availability of the Newcastle United players for this key match.

Fabian Schar, Callum Wilson, Miguel Almiron and ASM won’t be back for tonight’s game, or next Saturday (20 March) at Brighton.

However, the NUFC Head Coach claims he is hopeful that one or more of ASM, Wilson and Almiron will be available after the international break, for Tottenham at home in early April.

Steve Bruce though making clear that both Federico Fernandez and Javier Manquillo are available. Bruce also confirming there are no new injuries.

To help give a starting point, this was the 20 man Newcastle United squad that was selected against West Brom last weekend:

Dubravka, Krafth, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Hayden, Shelvey, Willock, Hendrick, Fraser, Joelinton (Subs: Darlow, Carroll, Ritchie, Gayle, Lewis, Fernandez, Manquillo, Murphy, S Longstaff)

So which Newcastle United team will Steve Bruce pick this weekend against Aston Villa?

Well, fair to say that last weekend’s team that he picked against West Brom, wasn’t one that many (any?) Newcastle fans would have chosen. Nor indeed the negative tactics and formation.

Tonight, I think very much the case again of Steve Bruce selecting an eleven that won’t match most fans’ idea of the team they think should face Aston Villa.

Dubravka will of course start in goal again, a clean sheet at West Brom and a very decent assured performance, so no controversy there between Head Coach and fans.

At right-back I do see change and I am hoping that it is belief I have and not wishful thinking, in Bruce making this change.

Emil Krafth has been so poor and indeed never at any time has he suggested he’s a Premier League player with his displays. Javier Manquillo is back to full fitness and has to play.

I would be tempted to replace Lascelles with fit again Federico Fernandez but I can’t see the Head Coach doing so. Which means the Newcastle Captain staying alongside Ciaran Clark against Clark’s old club.

On the left, once again I would be tempted to change to Lewis as we need to get more players getting forward and Dummett offers nothing when he crosses the halfway line. Dummett did do ok at the back overall in that poor Newcastle team display at West Brom and I think he will keep his place.

I would most definitely leave out Jonjo Shelvey after yet another less than committed display against West Brom, however, there seems no chance of Steve Bruce dropping his favourite.

Surely though we can’t have Jeff Hendrick selected again. He’s anonymous at the best of times but at The Hawthorns arguably reached an all-time low, contributing literally nothing.

As it happens, I think that Hendrick will be dropped and I predict a bit of a surprise from Steve Bruce. My guess is that he may put Matt Ritchie in for a surprise start instead, with the formation slightly rejigged. Joe Willock to keep his place in the midfield.

I think clearly most fans would play Gayle and / or Carroll but Steve Bruce appears adamant he won’t play with a striker / centre-forward, meaning Joelinton stays in as a nominal striker but playing out wide rather than through the middle.

Giving this predicted Newcastle team v Aston Villa:

Only ten matches remaining after tonight’s game and no longer can Steve Bruce simply rely on the clubs below failing to overtake Newcastle United.  NUFC desperate for a win, so here’s hoping Bruce has picked the right Newcastle team v Aston Villa…and formation / tactics.

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