Newcastle United defeated Sheffield United earlier this season and they will emulate that success if the following lineup is deployed on Saturday.
Newcastle United are looking to claim their second consecutive victory in the league on Saturday, and they are also chasing their second double of the season when they host Sheffield United. The Magpies stunned the Blades when the teams met at Bramall Lane in December thanks to two goals from Allan Saint-Maximin and Jonjo Shelvey.
The objective on Saturday is crystal clear for Newcastle United: win and officially reserve a place in the 2020-21 Premier League campaign. Sheffield United are difficult to beat and they present teams with a unique challenge because of their unorthodox tactics, but the Magpies match up well with the Blades and they can get the job done in front of a full St. James’ Park.
Having momentum is great, and having the support of over 50,000 fans is even better, but in order for Newcastle United to claim three points Steve Bruce must select all of his star players. That being said, here is the lineup that would frustrate Sheffield United for the second time this season.
As I have said over the last few weeks, I am a big fan of the 4-2-3-1 shape that Newcastle United have been playing in. Against Burnley and Southampton, the Magpies created a total of 35 chances, averaged 58% possession and completed 876 passes. This new-look team will cause problems for Sheffield United.
It would be nice to have Martin Dubravka put his gloves on as usual, but with the Slovakian keeper being out for one month, Karl Darlow will take over in his place. As a result, the back-four of Javier Manquillo, Federico Fernandez, Jamaal Lascelles and Danny Rose will need to step up their game and put their bodies on the line to make life easier for Darlow as he makes his first Premier League start this season.
In midfield, Bruce should stick with the same players he selected against Southampton: Allan Saint-Maximin, Jonjo Shelvey, Isaac Hayden and Matt Ritchie. Ritchie did not have the best game, but his aggressive style of play will be needed against Sheffield United. Christian Atsu’s pace would cause problems, but this game is perfect for a blue collar winger like Ritchie.
The front two should consist of Dwight Gayle and Miguel Almiron, with the Paraguayan playing in more of a number ten role. Saturday will most likely serve as Gayle’s final audition to start over Joelinton.
Gayle has been more active in front of goal, but he has wasted several golden opportunities to score from close range. The 29-year-old should have celebrated a hat-trick in the first 30 minutes against Southampton, but precision is a problem for Gayle.
All in all, here is a recap of the lineup Bruce should deploy against Sheffield United:
- GK: Karl Darlow
- DEF: Javier Manquillo, Federico Fernandez, Jamaal Lascelles, Danny Rose
- MID: Matt Ritchie, Isaac Hayden, Jonjo Shelvey, Allan Saint-Maximin
- ATT: Miguel Almiron, Dwight Gayle