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Opinion

Newcastle team v Norwich with five changes to get Eddie Howe vital first win

2 months ago
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Looking at this Newcastle team v Norwich.

What a massive match.

After a disastrous start to the season, no wins in the first fourteen games, out of the League Cup and rock bottom of the Premier League, the perfect time for Eddie Howe to get his first win.

In a case of you couldn’t make it up…

Eddie Howe had a week and a half preparing the team, only to miss the Brentford match due to a positive Covid test, then miss the preparation (in person) for the Arsenal game due to self-isolating.

At the Emirates he was on the touchline and tonight hopefully it all comes together for the first time. Eddie Howe preparing the team and leading them to a first NUFC victory in over six months.

With that, here’s my choice below of Newcastle team v Norwich below that could / should hopefully starting 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 Norwich:

Dubravka, Fraser, Krafth, Lascelles, Schar, Ritchie, Shelvey, Willock, Joelinton, Saint-Maximin, Wilson

Eddie Howe saying on Tuesday that there are no new injuries, so just the long-term casualty Paul Dummett ruled out, along with suspended for one game each, Matt Ritchie and Jamaal Lascelles.

Howe adding that he also expected Dwight Gayle to be available after missing Arsenal with a hamstring worry.

Dubravka the easiest name on the teamsheet, his display on Saturday in marked contrast to the bundle of nerves and poor decision making that we have have seen from Karl Darlow this season.

The enforced absence of Ritchie and Lascelles has led many Newcastle fans to hope that this proves the route to getting a better defence in place.

With the focus on attack surely tonight, even more reason to play a back four and get our best full backs into the side. Manquillo very harshly left out of the team, whilst Lewis surely has to be capable of better in defence than Ritchie or any alternative there is tonight.

In the middle, Schar had been decent since getting back into the team and I just hope against hope that it is Fernandez back in alongside him, rather than Krafth or Clark. It was Graeme Jones who first dropped Fernandez entirely from the first team matchday squad, so for me, it makes sense that Eddie Howe has carried this on, on the basis of relying initially on Jones’ view. Well, I can only trust that as well as training, in the games he has now watched, Howe will now accept that Fernandez is actually Newcastle’s best defender.

Shelvey has been one of the surprise positives of the Eddie Howe era so far, not brilliant but doing well and looking motivated, more mobile.

I would have Isaac Hayden in alongside him to allow Shelvey to keep getting up the pitch more, in this more attacking team I’m hoping and expecting will play. Joe Willock has struggled to make an impact this season and maybe best all round if he drops to the bench, with the bonus of him potentially providing a goal threat if called on with fresh legs, against a hopefully tired Norwich side.

Wilson and ASM are straightforward selections as the best chance of creating and taking chances. Whilst Joelinton impressed against Brentford and will hopefully follow that up against another relegation rival.

By switching to a back four, that gives another place in the team further forward. Miguel Almiron has it in him to help improve Newcastle’s attacking threat, as well as his workrate. Eddie Howe we trust will be able to get more out of the Paraguayan, as has already been the case with the likes of Shelvey and Joelinton.

My Newcastle team v Norwich:

Dubravka, Manquillo, Schar, Fernandez, Lewis, Shelvey, Hayden, Almiron, Joelinton, Saint-Maximin, Wilson

So five changes I think Eddie Howe should / could make, with Manquillo, Fernandez, Lewis, Hayden and Almiron, in for Fraser, Krafth, Lascelles, Ritchie and Willock.

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