This is the team I am predicting Steve Bruce will name for tomorrow’s match against Southampton at St. James’ Park. It has 3 changes from Tuesday’s defeat to Crystal Palace.
Bruce made just one change from the Everton win for Crystal Palace saying during today’s press conference that the team picked itself. It was just one forced change with Ciaran Clark coming in for the injured Jamaal Lascelles.
With Jamal Lewis suffering from a hamstring problem, Bruce will be forced to make at least one change for Southampton. Though he hinted this morning that there’s likely to be more than just one.
There’s a bit of an injury crisis at the back currently. Lewis, Jamaal Lascelles, Federico Fernandez, and Paul Dummett have all been ruled out. Ciaran Clark is a question mark due to his partner going into labor. However, Bruce said he expects Ciaran to be available.
Hopefully, that will be the case as, without Clark, Newcastle will have to draft either Isaac Hayden or Emil Krafth to center-back. To make matter worse, both natural left-backs are injured.
But Javier Manquillo has played on the left before and could be the choice with Matt Ritchie being out of the squad recently. Krafth, who hasn’t played in the last four games, could come back in on the right. Though it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Jacob Murphy get the nod for his ability to get forward.
For the midfield, Joe Willock is likely to make his Newcastle debut. Bruce said he would be involved, and I suspect it could be in place of Jeff Hendrick in the starting eleven. The 21-year-old was brought in to play and starting tomorrow seems to make sense.
The third change is Allan Saint-Maximin coming in for Ryan Fraser as part of the front three. Bruce indicated during his press conference that Allan would make his first start since returning. He’s made four substitute appearances and is ready to get back into the starting eleven.
The formation should be very similar to the last two matches. Adding Willock and Saint-Maximin will give Newcastle much more of a threat in the final third. That could hopefully make the difference as defensively, we’ll be suspect once again.