June 15, 2021

Shelvey dropped & 21 y/o makes rare start, Bruce makes bold changes: Predicted NUFC XI – opinion

2 min read
After tasting defeat to Arsenal last time out in the Premier League, Newcastle will be...

After tasting defeat to Arsenal last time out in the Premier League, Newcastle will be hoping to bounce back to winning ways when they take on Leicester on Friday night.

Steve Bruce’s side fell to a timid 2-0 defeat to the Gunners, registering just one shot on target in the entire 90 minutes.

With a trip to the high-flying Foxes tonight, there will certainly be no margin for error, and Bruce may feel that he needs to shake things up slightly to try and provoke a reaction.

With that in mind, below is a look at how the Magpies might line up when they face Leicester at the King Power Stadium.

In goal, Martin Dubravka will continue in between the sticks, while the back four should also remain unchanged, with Fabian Schar – who may have started tonight – missing through suspension after picking up a red card upon his return from injury last week.

The midfield is where Bruce might be keen on freshening things up. Here on Football FanCast, there have been calls for him to drop Jonjo Shelvey from the starting line-up, and if the manager does make the call to leave out the struggling former Liverpool man, then that could well see a rare opportunity for Matty Longstaff.

The 21-year-old hasn’t started for the Magpies in a number of months and has even failed to make the matchday squad on numerous occasions.

However, with the Premier League now winding down, Bruce may feel this might be the perfect opportunity to give the local lad a chance, especially with news that Elliot Anderson – who the manager confirmed would be in his plans – suffered a late injury setback to rule him out of contention.

The two Longstaff brothers are likely to be joined by Arsenal loanee Joe Willock, who missed the game against his parent club last week due to the terms of his loan agreement.

In attack, Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin should be the main sources of inspiration for a Magpies side seeking to pick things up again.

Predicted XI: Dubravka; Murphy, Fernandez, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie; S. Longstaff, M. Longstaff, Willock; Wilson, Saint-Maximin.

Meanwhile, Bruce must drop this “liability” tonight…

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