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Opinion

Newcastle team v Chelsea predicted with four changes for Eddie Howe

2 years ago
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Looking at this Newcastle team v Chelsea.

Eddie Howe and his team looking to make it ten Premier League games unbeaten and seven wins in their last eight matches.

Newcastle United have put some very decent daylight between themselves and the relegation zone, however, there is the massive carrot hanging there, that if Eddie Howe and his team could beat Chelsea, NUFC could move as many as thirteen points clear of the bottom three – depending on results elsewhere.

So what can we expect the Newcastle team v Chelsea to be?

As a starting point…

This was the Newcastle team v Southampton:

Dubravka, Krafth, Schar, Burn, Targett, Willock, Shelvey, Guimaraes, Fraser, Murphy, Wood

With games coming thick and fast, maybe best to look at the likely availability for this game.

We know for sure that Callum Wilson, Kieran Trippier and Federico Fernandez will not be involved due to injury.

Whilst there have been some rumours / claims that Fabian Schar may have a groin issue after the win at Southampton.

Then we also have Allan Saint-Maximin who missed Thursday night due to illness and Joelinton also missing out at St Mary’s due to his ongoing groin problem.

Always difficult to tell for sure how serious any injury issue is, whether players potentially rested for certain games when possibly they could have played. Whilst you also have Eddie Howe looking after his players and not taking unnecessary risks with them, unlike a certain former Head Coach…

Anyway, Dubravka is putting a nice little run together after a difficult return to the team initially, only three goals conceded in the last five PL matches. Arguably had his best game of the season so far at Southampton, no chance with the goal and made some very good saves, as well as commanding his penalty area and reacting quickly to potential dangers.

I wouldn’t criticise anybody in terms of effort but I do think it has been remarkable that this winning / unbeaten run has continued, despite how weak NUFC’s right hand side has been.

Surely Javier Manquillo will get a run out this time the versatile Spanish squad player is more mobile and a better defender than Krafth. The way Chelsea play as well with quick passing in their approach work and around the box, means Maquillo far better suited.

Targett was excellent yet again on Thursday night as he returned to old club Southampton. Opposition teams definitely ‘targeting’ the other side of the pitch, as this very good loan signing shows such consistency game after game.

Schar and Burn have been the rock that this recent excellent run has largely been built on, four wins and a draw since Dan Burn made his first start against Villa.

I’m sure Eddie Howe would like to see this partnership carry on but I have a feeling the reports of Fabian Schar possibly missing this game, could be on the money. He received treatment on and off the pitch a number of times on Thursday and maybe needs to sit this one out.

Jamaal Lascelles actually had one of his better games against Everton and it was his excellent header that created the own goal which got Newcastle back into that match straight away. Illness saw him miss the Villa game and allow Burn to make his debut, I think the pair of them will start together for the first time today in Schar’s likely absence.

I think the refreshing of the team / squad rotation won’t end there.

If Joelinton is ok to play then I think he will be back in today.

Scoring that stunning winning goal, Bruno Guimaraes had a mixed game otherwise on Thursday night. A certain local journalist gave him 10 out of 10 for his performance which was absolutely bizarre. Bruno wasn’t terrible and had a decent game but at times gifted possession and looked to be still adjusting, he will have plenty of 10 out of 10s in the future for NUFC I’m sure, but not today. As I think he will make way for our other Brazilian star.

Shelvey and Willock to stay in the team once again, the former producing a rare superb NUFC cross that Chris Wood has been crying out for, whilst Willock was very good I thought against Southampton throughout the 90 minutes.

Chris Wood also played better overall I thought against Southampton, compared to some of his previous matches. I think he has been good all the way through and his workrate massively helps the team, both attack and defend. However, I think we saw an even better and more dangerous Wood on Thursday and his classy header was the icing on the cake. Remarkably, Chris Wood has actually helped Newcastle pick up 20 points in his first eight NUFC Premier League appearances.

Also starting all of these last eight PL matches has been Ryan Fraser, against Southampton he turned in yet another very good non-stop performance. Surely only fatigue will prevent him being named in the starting eleven today.

However, I think that if Allan Saint-Maximin is ok to start, he will. Along with Emil Krafth, Jacob Murphy tries his hardest but is a quality level down on most of his teammates. Fraser likely switched to the right if ASM is brought back in.

Predicted Newcastle team v Chelsea:

Dubravka, Manquillo, Lascelles, Burn, Targett, Joelinton, Shelvey, Willock, Saint-Maximin, Fraser, Wood

So the four changes I think Eddie Howe will make.

Javier Manquillo, Jamaal Lascelles, Joelinton and Allan Saint-Maximin in for Emil Krafth, Fabian Schar, Bruno Guimaraes and Jacob Murphy.

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