A look at Newcastle United’s starting XI vs. Norwich City

Steve Bruce sticks with Matt Ritchie at wing-back and has two of his new signings on the bench as the other starts vs. Norwich City.

At the top of the hour, Newcastle United return to Premier League play today against Norwich City. The Magpies are riding a three-match unbeaten run in the league and will look to continue that success against the club occupying the bottom of the table. With the three new signings and no new injuries, outside of Jonjo Shelvey’s timetable being mentioned, Steve Bruce has a wide array of players to select from. Let’s take a look at the eighteen players he went with for today’s EPL matchup with Norwich City.

Starting XI

Dubravka

Yedlin/Fernandez/Lascelles (c)/Clark/Ritchie

Hayden/Bentaleb

Almiron/Joelinton/Saint-Maximin

Subs

Darlow/Schar/Lejeune/Lazaro/Rose/Atsu/S. Longstaff

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In front of Martin Dubravka, Ciaran Clark joins Federico Fernandez and Jamaal Lascelles in central defense. DeAndre Yedlin returns at right wing-back and Matt Ritchie holds down the starting position opposite him, even though I would have preferred newcomer Danny Rose getting the nod.

Isaac Hayden starts next to Nabil Bentaleb in central midfield. Bentaleb offered some glimpses of the quality he can bring with his quick turns on the ball and fearlessness when making long passes.

Up top, the attacking trio of Miguel Almiron, Joelinton, and Allan Saint-Maximin get another chance to improve the three combined league goals they have between them.

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On the bench, Steve Bruce has zero strikers as he’s had to deal with at times this season. His only true attacking option is Christian Atsu, who has been in poor form lately. January signings Rose and Valentino Lazaro could come on to replace a wing-back or one of the wingers to provide more defensive cover. Fabian Schar and Florian Lejeune are available as reinforcements in central defense and Sean Longstaff can replace Bentaleb if he’s still not up to full fitness.