With several players injured, elements of this Newcastle United side pick themselves right now, however Steve Bruce may be forced into another change this weekend.
Several of our international stars have been spotted back on Tyneside (Schar and Krafth trained on Wednesday), but one player who is yet to return from his travels with Paraguay is Miguel Almiron.
Considering he’s been to Japan and Jordan, played 180 minutes for his country and isn’t expected to be back until tomorrow (less than 24 hours before kick off), it would not surprise me if he’s named on the bench this weekend.
As a result, one of the two line ups could be what Bruce goes with at Anfield, seeing either Muto or Shelvey come in for Almiron and creating the possibility of a return to 3-5-2:
This isn’t Almiron being ‘dropped’ because of his goal drought, this would be based on the fact that Bruce will have been preparing his players for Liverpool for 10 days now – and a potentially tired and jet lagged Almiron won’t have been part of any of that if he only reports back just hours before kick off on Saturday lunch time.
Muto will have been training with the group and alongside Joelinton and Atsu over the past week, and Bruce may feel he’s fresh and deserves a rare start after grabbing a goal against Leicester.
As for Shelvey, it was reported over the summer that Bruce was keen to build his team around the midfielder, so it would not surprise me if he’s given another chance to impress in a 3-5-2 system that sees us pack the midfield, with Atsu and Joelinton being our two outlets in attack.
Time will tell, and a lot will depend on what Bruce says in his pre-match presser tomorrow morning, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Almiron has to settle for a place on the bench for this one.