According to Sky Sports’ Keith Downie, Steve Bruce has all but confirmed he’s set to move away from a five-man defence ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Burnley at St James’ Park.
This comes after the north-east reporter was present at the NUFC boss’ pre-match press conference on Tyneside this morning – where he stated a ‘new formation’ will be used tomorrow after a run of toothless displays.
Bruce has favoured a 5-2-2-1 / 5-4-1 formation over the vast majority of the season after trialling a 3-5-2 / 3-5-1-1 system in the opening weeks of the campaign, however it looks like he’ll go with a flat back four tomorrow:
One formation that looks likely to be used in light of these comments is 4-2-3-1.
Gayle could well start up top, with a trio of Joelinton, Saint-Maximin and Almiron just behind him – unless Matt Ritchie is drafted into a more attacking role, that is.
As for the midfield, Shelvey and Hayden could well start, with the former fit again and the latter tipped for a recall, while a flat back four of Manquillo (or Yedlin), Lascelles, Fernandez and Rose looks likely.
Time will tell, but it’s good to hear Bruce plans to mix things up ahead of tomorrow’s big game with Burnley!