Newcastle United must be at their best and well-disciplined to stun Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
There is no such thing as an easy game in the Premier League, and that statement is spot on when Manchester City is a team’s next opponent. Newcastle United will look to take points from Manchester City for the second time this season when they meet on Wednesday.
Manchester City are one of the most talented teams in Europe, but two losses to Chelsea (3-2) and Southampton (1-0) over an 11-day period has shaken their confidence.
Despite losing two of their last four games, Pep Guardiola’s men are heavy favorites to claim three points against the Magpies.
Newcastle United need their key players to perform at an elite level to stay competitive in this game. That being said, with Allan Saint-Maximin expected to be rested, and Isaac Hayden and Sean Longstaff out with hamstring injuries, who should Steve Bruce start at the Etihad Stadium?
Unless he picks up an injury, Martin Dubravka will be the man between the sticks. The back four should see one change occur at the wing-back position. Danny Rose missed the last two games, but he will replace Emil Krafth to start alongside Javier Manquillo, Federico Fernandez and Jamaal Lascelles.
As a result of their stellar form, and the lack of depth due to injuries, the pair of defensive midfielders will be Jonjo Shelvey and Nabil Bentaleb. Allan Saint-Maximin would normally start out wide, but Bruce made it clear that he will be rested.
So, fans should expect to see Valentino Lazaro get the nod in his place. Joelinton has been playing out wide on the opposite wing, but Bruce will drop the Brazilian for Matt Ritchie. The Scottish international always performs well against Manchester City and his energy will serve as a model for his teammates.
Up the middle in the number ten role will be Miguel Almiron. The Paraguayan international has scored two goals in just as many games. His pace and technical skills will be critical for Newcastle United. In front of him, Dwight Gayle will start once more as a reward for his great form.
Over the last three games, Gayle has scored two goals and provided an assist. He missed a massive chance against Manchester City in the FA Cup, but tomorrow is the perfect time for him to make up for that.
DEF: Manquillo, Fernandez, Lascelles, Rose
MID: Lazaro, Bentaleb, Shelvey, Ritchie, Almiron