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Predicted Newcastle team v Tottenham has these two changes

3 months ago
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Looking ahead to today’s Newcastle team v Tottenham.

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

Thirteen defeats and five draws, an ever so bleak run of form these past four months, with that feeble display at Brighton last time out, maybe the worst of the season.

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 Tottenham.

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

Fabian Schar and Isaac Hayden are of course almost certain to miss the rest of the season.

However, the NUFC Head Coach confirming that Miguel Almiron is fully fit and available for Sunday.

With Callum Wilson though, Steve Bruce states that it is all but certain that the centre-forward won’t be involved against Tottenham. A more realistic target will hopefully be Burnley away the following weekend.

As for Allan Saint-Maximin, Bruce says that this one is in the balance. That ASM may be able to be included in Sunday’s matchday squad, if he has shown enough in training on Friday and Saturday, that convinces he is fit enough to be involved.

Steve Bruce:

“The break has allowed us to get some players close to match fitness.

“It’s fair to say Saint-Maximin is a bit more advanced than Callum Wilson is.

“He [Allan Saint-Maximin] could be involved.

“We still have today and tomorrow to train but he came through a big session 48 hours ago.

“We hope he can play some part.

“I wouldn’t have thought Callum will be available.”

A place on the bench surely at most for ASM, as even Steve Bruce would see it as too big a risk to start him, with only seven weeks remaining of the season and eight more key games ahead that the French winger will be desperately needed for.

Martin Dubravka missed a game last weekend for Slovakia with a stomach bug but seemingly missed the midweek international win over Russia due to having to fly back to be at the birth of his first child. So all being well it sounds like Newcastle’s number one will be available.

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

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

So which Newcastle United team will Steve Bruce pick this afternoon against Tottenham?

Dubravka will start of course, assuming no after effects from his stomach bug.

Whilst at centre-back, I personally would be considering bringing Federico Fernandez back after that feeble display against Brighton, they scored three but it could have been five or six.

I’m not saying the biggest problems are at the back BUT I do think Fernandez has been one of Newcastle’s best players and just like when even Bruce had to finally accept Dubravka needed to be included, I think the same with the Argentine defender, who is our best centre-back.

However, I think Bruce will definitely stick with Clark and Lascelles. Especially with the captain currently being Newcastle’s biggest (only?) goal threat, having scored two of the three goals that NUFC have managed in their last 10 hours of Premier League football.

Javier Manquillo came in for Krafth last time and fingers crossed it stays that way, the Swede may have missed that through injury and played midweek for his country, so always a chance Steve Bruce will bring back his signing.

Dummett has done pretty well recently but was poor against Brighton, Jamal Lewis has had a groin problem the past month but made a sub appearance for Northern Ireland and then played the full final match of this past fortnight’s internationals, I have a feeling he (Lewis) might come back in today.

It is of course midfield and up front where the big debates are when it comes to the selection of this Newcastle team v Tottenham…

As well as Hayden missing, my reading of it is that Wilson won’t be involved and ASM will be bench at best.

Willock has steadily become less effective and more anonymous playing under Steve Bruce since his goalscoring debut against Southampton. Despite that, he is still an automatic choice in Newcastle’s midfield considering the alternatives.

Elliot Anderson played in the youth cup win over Leeds on Saturday, so any remote chance of him being involved has gone, having played 87 minutes of the 4-1 NUFC win.

So for the other two midfield spots it appears we have a choice of Shelvey, Hendrick and the Longstaff brothers.

I fear that Bruce will stick to his favourite Jonjo Shelvey for sure…then with Hayden’s injury it is a massive worry that we could see Jeff Hendrick on the pitch as well.

I know he hasn’t played well this season but surely even Steve Bruce must see Sean Longstaff should play ahead of Hendrick. Indeed, if my choice, I would put both Longstaff brothers in and just see what happens, we know exactly what we get with Shelvey and Hendrick and it isn’t a lot.

In the final analysis I think for Steve Bruce it will be Shelvey and Sean Longstaff.

As for up front, despite what most Newcastle fans would do, I see Steve Bruce once again going without a striker today.

Almiron will play of course, whilst Ryan Fraser will be full of confidence with two goals in two games for Scotland, but I think another Bruce favourite, Joelinton, will play once again, rather than Gayle or Carroll. It is three goals in 61 PL appearances for the Brazilian now and he just never looks a goal threat.

I think you have to play Gayle through the middle as he is the only one who has any kind of goalscoring pedigree in recent years. Andy Carroll having scored one Premier League goal these past three years.

I don’t expect to see a lot of attacking intention today from Steve Bruce, as per usual, with the team selection, formation and tactics reflecting that.

Giving this predicted Newcastle team v Tottenham:

Dubravka, Manquillo, Lascelles, Clark, Lewis, Sean Longstaff, Shelvey, Willock, Almiron, Fraser, Joelinton

Only eight matches remaining after today’s game and here’s hoping ASM and Wilson will be fully fit for Burnley next weekend.

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