Steve Bruce moves Joelinton to the bench to give Dwight Gayle a start up top for Newcastle United today. We react to his entire lineup selection.
Newcastle United enter today’s match vs. Southampton with zero Premier League goals since January. Ahead of kickoff at the top of the hour, we take a look at who Steve Bruce has selected today and how that could impact the potency of the attack.
Darlow, Schar, Joelinton, Yedlin, Lazaro, S. Longstaff, Bentaleb.
Newcastle United trot out the best four defenders at the moment in front of Martin Dubravka with Javier Manquillo, Federico Fernandez, Jamaal Lascelles, and Danny Rose. In the central midfield, the familiar pairing of Isaac Hayden and Jonjo Shelvey should provide defensive shape and Shelvey’s long-range passing. The latter has been a huge boost to the squad since returning from injury. It will be interesting to see how the remaining four players line up: Allan Saint-Maximin, Miguel Almiron, Matt Ritchie, and Dwight Gayle.
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Against West Brom, Almiron played as a number ten in a 4-2-3-1. That is his best position and it would be great to see him return there today. For Saint-Maximin and Ritchie, they have both played on either side this season, but Ritchie most recently featured on the right side and that limits the danger of his quality left foot. ASM could also play up top next to Gayle, allowing Ritchie to play on the left of the formation with Almiron shading to the right. Gayle looked good in his start vs. Burnley, getting into good positions and opening things up, but he was not clinical in front of goal and Steve Bruce will hope the continued run for him will help with that.
Off the bench, Bruce can turn to Joelinton up top if he needs to after the Brazilian played well mid-week. He also has Sean Longstaff and Nabil Bentaleb to bring a new dynamic to the holding midfield. I’d expect to see either DeAndre Yedlin or Valentino Lazaro at some point. If they need more attacking presence out wide or simply more pace, one of the central midfielders could come off. Fabian Schar and Karl Darlow will serve as depth options.