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Opinion

Newcastle team v Burnley – Two changes and a mentality shift

3 weeks ago
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Following Newcastle’s rather unexpected point from the Spurs match, we’re all hoping against hope that this positive performance can drive us on into what is one of our last remaining feasibly winnable games of the season.

After this weekend we have West Ham (home), Liverpool (away), Arsenal (home) Leicester (away) and Man City (home), before the final two games of the season against Sheffield United and Fulham.

In the following five after this weekend, realistically we could maybe get between two and four points at best, so it’s vital we make the most of the visit to Turf Moor.

These are my two suggested changes for the Newcastle team v Burnley (and a mentality shift!):

Emil Krafth can’t play centre-back

Krafth is not good as a right back, just ok, sometimes.

However, as a right sided centre back he is not even approaching ok.

Literally gifting Kane an equaliser seconds after taking the lead last time out with some truly shocking “defending.” I can’t imagine the circumstances that would lead Bruce to play him again at the weekend (other than the clueless lack of knowledge, that is.)

I understand Clark would be difficult to fit into last weekend’s back three centre backs there as along with Paul Dummett he is left footed, which would be awkward, but there must be a better option than Krafth.

Fernandez will come in for the injured Lascelles and if it came down to it and there was no other reasonable alternative, I would rather go with the Argentine on the right of a three and Clark in the middle, than go through another match with a liability like Krafth in the back three.

Starts for the stars?

ASM made a decent comeback off the bench last weekend and his presence certainly draws attention from opposition players, freeing up space for others to attack.

Just for this alone it’s worth starting him over Gayle, who didn’t really have much of an impact other than one moment where he should’ve scored. Admittedly he was denied by a tremendous save from Lloris, followed by an unorthodox sit-on-the-ball technique.

Wilson is also approaching full fitness, so hopefully he will at least get a sub appearance and have a chance to affect the game- remember he scored two against Burnley last time out, fingers crossed for a repeat performance.

Don’t have another dramatic collapse!

In the Brighton match we threw away what little momentum and positivity we had, missing an enormous chance to put some good distance between us and the relegation zone, along with dragging another team into the mix.

With Fulham dramatically losing to Wolves last night, the Premier League table now looks like this:

We have another massive chance to put real daylight between ourselves and Fulham AND put pressure on Brighton and Burnley.

If Newcastle win, we would go a point behind Burnley and level on points with Brighton (presuming they lose against Everton).

Looking at those five games that follow Sunday’s match, this is a chance we cannot afford to let slip through our fingers.

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