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Opinion

Newcastle team v Manchester City predicted with two changes

1 week ago
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Looking at this Newcastle team v Manchester City.

Eddie Howe and his team looking to bounce back from that 1-0 defeat to Liverpool.

That ended a four game winning run and six victories in a row at St James Park.

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

As a starting point…

This was the Newcastle team v Liverpool:

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

Eddie Howe on Friday morning made clear that only one player was definitely ruled out, long-term injured Ryan Fraser.

Though there are question marks on the involvement of three others.

The head coach saying Fabian Schar had so far been unable to train all week, so he would be seeing whether there was any change in that on Friday and Saturday before deciding whether he was included in the squad.

Whilst Eddie Howe was upbeat on both Kieran Trippier and Callum Wilson, both players now taking place in group training sessions, though Wilson said to be ahead of Trippier in terms of getting fully fit.

Man of the match against Liverpool, Martin Dubravka will obviously start today, three clean sheets in the last five games and still only once since the defeat to Man City five months ago has Dubravka conceded more than one goal in a game.

I definitely can’t see Trippier starting, nor to me does it sound like he will even make the matchday squad this time, as he works towards that full recovery. Emil Krafth struggled last Saturday, especially once Diaz switched sides, despite that I think he is sure to stay in and faces another tough afternoon against whoever Pep plays.

Matt Targett wasn’t able to get forward much against Liverpool but did decent against them when defending. A difficult match but Diaz got so little out of him, Jurgen Klopp switched his Colombian star to the other side of the pitch.

Dan Burn another very good display and helped ensure it was only a single goal defeat, only question who plays alongside him. Schar didn’t do too bad but was partly at fault for the goal. I think he would have stayed in the team today but even if returning to training the last day or two, I can’t see Eddie Howe risking the Switzerland international when there is no essential need to do so. Lascelles was, as ever, very nervous on the ball against Liverpool, so not ideal when Man City today and also their very mobile attacking set up. However, I think the NUFC captain will start and to be fair, he did ok defensively when replacing an injured Schar last weekend.

Bruno G was easily Newcastle’s best outfield player against Liverpool, so a lot of responsibility on his shoulders once again today. Joelinton didn’t have one of his best games last weekend but battled away and will start again against Man City.

Similar comments on Jonjo Shelvey and I think he will also be in today’s team at the Etihad.

People thinking Callum Wilson could be suddenly thrown straight into the starting eleven are surely wide of the mark. He hasn’t even been back in training very long after five months out with a bad injury, so personally, I think zero chance of him in the team. Maybe a decent chance of a place on the bench though to get him back involved.

I don’t think it worked last weekend having ASM as a false nine against Liverpool, far too easy for the scousers to build from the back and certainly against the top teams, I don’t think this is the best option.

I definitely think Chris Wood will come back in after two games amongst the subs, he defends from the front and will give Newcastle a focus for their attacks.

That leaves two spaces in the team…

Miguel Almiron wasn’t great against Liverpool but did an ok shift defensively and was one of those more willing to take possession and try to keep the ball. I think he will get another chance today, on what is sure to be a busy day coping with Man City’s attacking strengths.

I see ASM staying in the team as well, back on the left side and the wildcard that Eddie Howe hopes can help cause the home side problems.

That leaves Joe Willock dropping out in my opinion, no worse than others maybe against Liverpool but Wood’s return to the team meaning somebody has to miss out.

Predicted Newcastle team v Manchester City:

Dubravka, Krafth, Lascelles, Burn, Targett, Shelvey, Guimaraes, Joelinton, Almiron, Saint-Maximin, Wood

So the two changes I think Eddie Howe will make.

Lascelles in for Schar and Wood for Willock.

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