Predicting Newcastle’s XI vs. Leicester City: A family reunion in midfield

Matty Longstaff of Newcastle United. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Matty Longstaff of Newcastle United. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images) /

Newcastle United must be deploy their best available lineup against Leicester City tomorrow.

Newcastle United are coming off an impressive 0-0 draw against Liverpool, but now they will be tasked with emulating that performance against another top side in Leicester City. The Foxes proved too much for the Magpies to handle last season, but can the narrative change this term?

It all depends on who Steve Bruce gives the nod to in the starting eleven. That being said, here is the lineup I think Bruce will deploy tomorrow against Brendan Rodgers’ men at St. James’ Park.

Predicted Lineup

Formation: 5-4-1 (same vs. Liverpool)

Martin Dubravka is back and ready for action, but he will continue to be sidelined because of Karl Darlow’s stellar form between the sticks. The back line in front of Darlow should see two changes made.

The trio in the middle will remain the same, but DeAndre Yedlin will be given a breather ahead of next week’s FA Cup encounter, and he will be replaced by Emil Krafth. Matt Ritchie will also be dropped for youngster Jamal Lewis, who will look to impress his critics.

Two changes are also expected in midfield. Jacob Murphy will continue to start out wide, but Joelinton will lose his place on the opposite flank to speedster Miguel Almiron. The duo of Matty Longstaff and Isaac Hayden has been a breath of fresh air for Newcastle United, but Hayden will miss this game due to suspension (five yellow cards).

As a result, look for Bruce to create a family reunion with the Longstaff brothers calling the shots in the center circle. It would be great if Matty’s energy triggers a resurgence in his older brother.

Had the FA Cup clash against Arsenal been three days after tomorrow’s game with Leicester City, Bruce might have gone with Dwight Gayle to give Callum Wilson a rest. However, with a week to rest and prepare for the Arsenal game, Wilson, who already has eight goals, will lead the front line once more.

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Darlow; Krafth, Schar, Fernandez, Clark, Lewis; Murphy, M. Longstaff, S. Longstaff, Almiron; Wilson.