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Opinion

Newcastle team v Liverpool predicted with three changes

3 weeks ago
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Looking at this Newcastle team v Liverpool.

Eddie Howe and his team looking to make it five wins in a row in the Premier League..

If Newcastle win this Saturday afternoon, it would also make it a remarkable seven wins at St James Park in a row as well.

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

As a starting point…

This was the Newcastle team v Norwich:

Dubravka, Krafth, Lascelles, Burn, Targett, Longstaff, Guimaraes, Willock, Joelinton, Murphy, Saint-Maximin

Eddie Howe on Friday morning said that only three players were definitely ruled out, long-term injured Callum Wilson and Kieran Trippier, plus Ryan Fraser who the head coach said would be touch and go as to whether he would play at all again this season.

A really interesting and difficult to predict Newcastle team v Liverpool this afternoon.

As Eddie Howe made four changes last Saturday to the starting eleven who had beaten Palace and Leicester, with Lascelles, Longstaff, Willock and Murphy coming in, whilst Schar, Shelvey, Wood and Almiron dropped out.

The fact that all four of those players were on the bench, appearing to confirm that Eddie Howe had indeed simply rotated his squad, after the same eleven having started on Sunday against Leicester and Wednesday night for the Palace match, with Norwich following so quickly on the Saturday.

The changes obviously didn’t do any harm, as after a scrappy half hour or so, Newcastle United stepped it up a bit and won 3-0 against the Canaries, who were pretty poor.

That clearly isn’t going to be the case today, where Newcastle will need to be at their very best if they’re to get anything out of a Liverpool side going for the title (and indeed the quadruple), Klopp’s team having won 12 of their last 13 Premier League matches and the exception was a draw away at Man City.

Whilst Eddie Howe certainly comes over as a nice bloke, it has also become absolutely clear in these past five months at Newcastle United, that the Head Coach will be absolutely ruthless with his team selections. Always intent on picking whatever he considers the best eleven for the job, regardless of player reputation or whatever.

So, will any / all of the four who came into the starting eleven against Norwich seven days ago, stay in the Newcastle team v Liverpool?

Martin Dubravka will obviously start today, three clean sheets in the last four games and looking now as if he is getting close to being back to his best.

With Trippier remaining out, Emil Krafth continued his very good run of late and was solid at Norwich, along with the excellent Matt Targett, they will be at full-back.

Dan Burn another very good display against Norwich and then the question of who will play alongside him? Lascelles came in and did ok against Norwich but after signing a two year contract extension, Fabian Schar will surely come back into the team, the Switzerland international far better on the ball than the Newcastle captain and indeed looking a lot better in terms of defending. I can only see Lascelles staying in the team if Eddie Howe surprises us with a change of formation and plays three central defenders.

Bruno G and Joelinton picked up all the headlines last weekend, the Brazilian duo scoring the three goals and putting in very good overall performances. The question is though, who will fill the other four places in midfield and attack?

I think Allan Saint-Maximin is slowly but surely getting there, recovering from nearly two months out and last weekend at Carrow Road probably his best performance since coming back into the team. ASM getting an assist for the opening goal and I would be very surprised if he is left out today, especially when up against a Liverpool side where Newcastle will need somebody capable of getting the team up the pitch and potentially able to surprise the scousers with a bit of trickery.

I think fair to assume Chris Wood comes back into the team up front, his workrate will be essential as he helps NUFC defend from the front and obviously be a target as well for long balls to get Newcastle up the pitch much of the time.

I also see Miguel Almiron as another easy selection, Jacob Murphy did alright against Norwich but Almiron had shown in the wins over Leicester and Palace that he was capable of something like the form he showed under Rafa Benitez, when first arriving back in January 2019. His workrate will also be a big positive today against a Liverpool side who are all but sure to dominate possession, then we have that spectacular goal he scored to defeat Palace, it was a first one for the Paraguayan in the Premier League since February 2021 but hopefully a clear sign of his goal threat returning.

That leaves one place in the team.

I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Eddie Howe reverted completely to the eleven who beat both Leicester and Palace but I juts have a feeling that there will be one change from that team, with Joe Willock staying in the side today, he for me was the best of the four who came into the team against Norwich and his high energy getting up and down the pitch may well mean he keeps his place at the expense of Jonjo Shelvey.

Predicted Newcastle team v Liverpool:

Dubravka, Krafth, Schar, Burn, Targett, Guimaraes, Willock, Joelinton, Almiron, Saint-Maximin, Wood

So the three changes I think Eddie Howe will make.

Chris Wood, Miguel Almiron and Fabian Schar, in for Jacob Murphy, Sean Longstaff and Jamaal Lascelles.

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