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Newcastle team v Arsenal with three changes to get Eddie Howe first away point(s)

2 months ago
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Looking at this Newcastle team v Arsenal.

What a massive bonus if Eddie Howe can pick something up from this game.

After a disastrous start to the season, no wins in the first thirteen NUFC games, out of the League Cup and bottom of the Premier League, this match comes immediately before two very winnable (must win?) games against Norwich and Burnley at home.

Eddie Howe having to remotely train the Newcastle United players this past week due to self-isolating after a positive covid test.

The good news yesterday though, was that after a new test showed him to be now negative for covid, it means Eddie Howe can take charge of the Newcastle team v Arsenal in person today.

With that, here’s my choice below of Newcastle team v Arsenal that could / can hopefully start putting this start to the season right, also my reasons for going with this eleven.

As a starting point…

This was the Newcastle team v Brentford:

Darlow, Murphy, Schar, Lascelles, Clark, Ritchie, Willock, Shelvey, Joelinton, Saint-Maximin, Wilson

An update at Jason Tindall’s (standing in for Eddie How) press conference on Friday, saw him confirm that Dwight Gayle was the only new injury worry with a hamstring issue. Meaning apart from long-term absentee Paul Dummett, Eddie Howe has an otherwise full squad to select from.

Analysis by the official Premier League site showed that previous to arriving at St James Park, the new NUFC Head Coach has gone with four at the back around 85% of the time. I think that he is very likely to return to his favoured defensive formation today.

As for team selection…

Fans appeared pretty unanimous in thinking Martin Dubravka should have come back in since getting fully fit at the end of October. Eddie Howe gave Karl Darlow the benefit of the doubt against Brentford but after that horror show, including at fault for the first and third goals, the Head Coach will for sure be putting Dubravka in today.

Even if sticking with a back five, I believe Manquillo will come back in on the right, with Murphy so poor defensively last weekend. A back four and it will definitely be Manquillo, as no way Murphy can play as an out and out full back.

It is a similar story on the other side of the pitch but Jamal Lewis hasn’t started a Premier League game for nine months, so this would be a tough one to come back in for. Matt Ritchie battles away and probably did just about enough against Brentford to stay in this time.

Central defence was weak last weekend the returning Fabian Schar the best of the three defensively, plus he improved the playing it out from the back. He has to stay in and despite poor form this season, I think Eddie Howe will stick with captain Jamaal Lascelles for now, with a struggling Ciaran Clark to be left out.

Shelvey came back into the team for Howe’s opening game and did ok, looking a bit more motivated than of late.

Joe Willock gave it plenty of energy and hopefully with another week of Eddie Howe’s coaching team, will be able to get more involved on the attacking front, on his return to Arsenal.

Miguel Almiron only arrived back in time for one training session before Brentford, so was never going to be considered for that one. However, every reason to think he is another player who can thrive under Eddie Howe, after having been woefully messed around and wasted by Steve Bruce. Almiron giving Newcastle extra legs in what is going to be a tough challenge against this young Arsenal side.

Speaking of players woefully messed around and wasted by Steve Bruce, Joelinton was a revelation last Saturday. Scoring in a man of the match performance, only his failure to take that late chance for a winner, when set up by ASM, let him down. A certainty for the team sheet today, which feels very strange saying or writing that down, but the Brazilian will be a massive surprise positive for this relegation struggle if maintaining last weekend’s standards.

That leaves Wilson and ASM as the automatic selections for the final two places in today’s side.

My predicted Eddie Howe Newcastle team v Arsenal:

Dubravka, Manquillo, Lascelles, Schar, Ritchie, Willock, Almiron, Shelvey, Joelinton, Saint-Maximin, Wilson

So three changes I think Eddie Howe should / could make, with Dubravka, Manquillo and Almiron, in for Darlow, Clark, and Murphy.

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