Lineup Prediction: Will Bruce adjust Newcastle’s starting XI vs. Liverpool?

Steve Bruce, Manager of Newcastle United. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Steve Bruce, Manager of Newcastle United. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images) /

With back-to-back wins, things are trending up for Newcastle United. This weekend, they will look to make it three straight victories by defeating Liverpool for the first time since 2015.

After one change was made between the Burnley and West Ham wins, Steve Bruce will have to decide if he wants to shuffle the deck at all for the match at Anfield. Typically, Bruce is one of those managers that likes to leave things unchanged for the most part if a result is positive. That can sometimes come at the expense of common sense if something didn’t appear to click tactically.

In this case, I expect at least one or two changes from the starting XI that faced West Ham United last weekend.

Callum Wilson must be in the starting lineup vs. the Reds. He came off the bench in the last two matches and seems to be reaching full fitness. While he’s played admirably of late, Joelinton should be dropped to make room for Wilson.

Another change that seems realistic would be the return of Joe Willock in the starting midfield group. Sean Longstaff has been starting since Isaac Hayden went out for the season with an injury and has been solid.

But, Willock has two goals in three matches and definitely provides a different dynamic next to Jonjo Shelvey.

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The defense doesn’t seem likely to change with the central defensive trio being the only healthy center-backs on the roster. Matt Ritchie and Jacob Murphy have both been good enough to prevent Jamal Lewis or Javier Manquillo from taking their spots down the flanks.

Depending on how you look at it, the formation should be either a 5-2-1-2 or a 3-4-1-2 with that same backline, Willock and Shelvey in the holding midfield, Miguel Almiron as a number ten, and Allan Saint-Maximin and Wilson up top.