Newcastle United have a great opportunity to climb into the top ten with a win over Norwich City this weekend, but Steve Bruce must select his best possible lineup in order to get the job done against the Canaries.
On paper, Saturday’s clash against Norwich City will be the easiest game Newcastle United will play all season. Realistically speaking, though, that is not the case. Norwich City may be in last place, but they stay competitive in games and this is reflected in the fact that five of their last six defeats were by a minimal margin. The Canaries comfortably defeated the Magpies early in the season and they will bring that motivation with them to St. James’ Park.
Newcastle United have claimed five points in their last three games against Wolverhampton, Chelsea, and Everton. A win on Saturday could see Newcastle United jump into the top ten for the second time this season and they would only be seven points shy of the magic number – 40 points. In order to get the job done against Norwich City on Saturday, Steve Bruce should make a few changes compared to the lineup he deployed at Goodison Park nine days ago.
Jamaal Lascelles and Federico Fernandez have been solid in the back for Newcastle United, but Bruce’s real dilemma in the back involves Ciaran Clark and Fabian Schar. They both deserve to start, but Schar is eager to play from the opening whistle after being benched for the last few top flight clashes.
Isaac Hayden and Matty Longstaff should be among the first names on the team sheet this weekend. Hayden’s consistency on both ends of the pitch is critical to the Magpies’ success, and Longstaff’s energy will be much needed against a Norwich City team that counters quickly. On the wings, Matt Ritchie and Valentino Lazaro could have big games.
Ritchie is not the quickest player, but his strength and ability to protect the ball will frustrate the Canaries on the wing. Lazaro is an attack-minded player and his overlapping runs should cause problems down the flank. His ability to deliver quick, curling crosses could have a major impact on Joelinton’s performance in front of goal.
When it comes to the front three, there is nothing for Bruce to change. Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron are capable of dictating the flow of a game when they receive the ball out wide and Joelinton, well, he really is Bruce’s only option as a result of injuries to Andy Carroll, Dwight Gayle and Yoshinori Muto. All that being said, take a look below to see my proposed formation and lineup for Saturday’s game.
- GK: Martin Dubravka
- DEF: Fabian Schar, Jamaal Lascelles, Federico Fernandez
- MID: Valentino Lazaro, Isaac Hayden, Matty Longstaff, Matt Ritchie
- ATT: Allan Saint-Maximin, Joelinton, Miguel Almiron