The best available lineup for Newcastle United to start the season

Newcastle United's stadium: St. James' Park. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Newcastle United's stadium: St. James' Park. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images) /

A few new players could come in, but this is the best possible lineup for Newcastle United at the moment.

Newcastle United have experienced a frustrating preseason. The Magpies had to settle for a weak, domestic preseason schedule due to COVID-19, Martin Dubravka and Dwight Gayle picked up severe injuries, and the team suffered a massive setback in their embarrassing defeat to Middlesbrough.

Newcastle United added Mark Gillespie, Jeff Hendrick, and Matty Longstaff to the squad this summer, and the Magpies are reportedly on the verge of signing winger Ryan Fraser and striker Callum Wilson, which would provide a massive boost to their offensive efficiency.

Anything can happen during negotiations, though, so this article will solely focus on players currently in the squad.

That being said, Newcastle United will kick off their 2020-21 Premier League campaign next Saturday. Steve Bruce will have some important decisions to make, but this is the best lineup for him to deploy against West Ham, and possibly Brighton if no transfers come in.

Best Lineup to Start 2020-21 Campaign

Even though his performance in goal against Middlesbrough was atrocious, Bruce will have to go with Karl Darlow, simply based on his experience in the Premier League, over Mark Gillespie. There should not be any surprises on the back line either.

The back four should consist of Javier Manquillo and DeAndre Yedlin as wing-backs, and the two central defenders will, without a doubt, consist of Federico Fernandez and captain Jamaal Lascelles. At the moment, these defenders are the most reliable in the back.

The two midfielders ahead of the defenders is more difficult to predict, but Jonjo Shelvey and Jeff Hendrick should get the nod to start the season.

Shelvey cemented his place in the lineup based on his form last season, and Hendrick will enter this clash with great fitness after playing in two UEFA Nations League games with the Republic of Ireland.

The attacking trio ahead of them will certainly include dynamic Frenchman Allan Saint-Maximin on the wing and goal-hungry Miguel Almiron up the middle.

On the wing opposite of Saint-Maximin, Matt Ritchie deserves to start, but based on his potential involvement in a swap deal for Callum Wilson, fans should expect to see Jacob Murphy in his place. Murphy has impressed in preseason and will most likely avoid a third consecutive loan spell.

Last, but not least, is the striker position. With Dwight Gayle out, Yoshinori Muto officially an outcast, and Joelinton’s fitness not being where it should due to his quarantine, Andy Carroll is Bruce’s only available striker.

Formation: 4-2-3-1

Lineup: Darlow; Manquillo, Fernandez, Lascelles, Yedlin; Hendrick, Shelvey; Saint-Maximin, Almiron, Murphy; Carroll

Next. Fraser would start for NUFC, but not right away. dark