West Brom (A): Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted line ups

With us struggling to score in the league and edging closer and closer to a dreaded relegation battle, the FA Cup could be Steve Bruce’s only saving grace.

The win over Oxford put us in the 5th round for the first time since 2006, but a win at the Hawthorns will take us into the quarter finals – and just ONE big performance away from a semi at Wembley.

I’m getting ahead of myself already, yet this is what the cup can do to you. It allows you to dream and wonder just what if, giving us some welcome distraction from a league season which promises to end up in us narrowly staying up at best.

In front of us are a top of the table West Brom side who look on course to return to the Premier League this summer.

That said, their shock defeat to Wigan over the weekend could mean Slaven Bilic picks a slightly weakened side once again, with his recent selections in the FA Cup suggesting they’re very much prioritising promotion over a trip to Wembley.

Predicted XI

(5-2-2-1): Darlow – Yedlin, Schar, Lascelles, Lejeune, Ritchie – Shelvey, S Longstaff – Lazaro, Almiron – Joelinton.

Darlow has played in the last few rounds, but Bruce may be tempted to go with the reliable Dubravka now we’re a win away from the quarters.

At the back, I can’t see Manquillo playing twice in a few days after over 6 weeks out, meaning it may well be between Yedlin and Lazaro – but it’ll all depend on formation.

If we’re playing five at the back I can see Lazaro starting, yet another 4-2-3-1 could mean Yedlin at right-back and Lazaro ahead of him on the right wing?

At centre-back, again it’ll all come to the system Bruce opts for. If we go with five at the back I can see Schar, Lascelles and Lejeune being the back three, with Ritchie at left wing-back.

In midfield, Shelvey is another who Bruce may be reluctant to play twice in 4 days given he’s A) only just returned from injury on Saturday and B) is one of our key players. That said, can the likes of Bentaleb or the Longstaff’s be trusted in arguably the club’s biggest game of the season?

In attack, Saint-Maximin looks very likely to miss out sadly, so it wouldn’t surprise me if Lazaro plays slightly further up.

It also remains to be seen if Atsu is fit or whether Bruce will stick with Ritchie in an advanced role should he opt to play a 4-2-3-1 again.

I’d like to see Joelinton play out wide again and Almiron at no.10 – which is undoubtedly his best position – but I’m unsure if Gayle’s hamstring will allow him to play 2 games in 4 days after putting in a real shift on Saturday.

With Carroll injured and Muto unlikely to start after failing to even make Bruce’s squad on Saturday, hopefully Gayle is OK to start against his former loan club.

Preferred NUFC XI – (4-2-3-1) – Dubravka – Yedlin, Schar, Lascelles, Ritchie – Shelvey, S Longstaff – Lazaro, Almiron, Joelinton – Gayle.

Team news

Allan Saint-Maximin is a major doubt after having ‘ongoing problems’ with his back and hamstring, while Andy Carroll has also been ruled out once again.

Valentino Lazaro is back from a ban, while the likes of Yedlin, Schar, Lejeune, Bentaleb and the two Longstaff’s will be hoping for recalls after missing out on Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Burnley.

Clark, Dummett and Willems remain long-term absentees, while it remains to be seen if Krafth, Muto or Atsu could return to Steve Bruce’s squad.

For the hosts, Bilic has confirmed former Arsenal left-back Kieran Gibbs will start, but Grady Diangana will miss out along with Ahmed Hegazi – who injured his hamstring in their 0-1 defeat to Wigan on Saturday.

Prediction

If this one was a league game it would have a scruffy draw written all over it, but the reality is that someone will be progressing to the quarter finals no matter what on Tuesday, with all 5th round ties being decided on the night.

Hopefully we can take advantage of the fact they’ll have one eye on the league (and may rest a few key players as a result), but it could be a real blow for us if our hero at Oxford (Allan Saint-Maximin) missed out.

I don’t think it’ll be pretty, but I see us going through on penalties thanks to some heroics from one of Darlow or Dubravka!

Prediction: West Brom 1-1 Newcastle (NUFC to win on penalties!)

HWTL!

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at NUFCblogsubmissions@gmail.com & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

75 thoughts on “West Brom (A): Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted line ups

  1. Really difficult to predict our lineup. The easy bit is that Carroll is injured and Brucie will not risk St Max again after risking him against Burnley.

    Hard to predict West Brom as well as they are 6 points above 3rd so might even fancy a cup run. And who better to play than us who have not reached this stage since 1908.

    Struggled against 3rd Division teams with replays so hard to see us getting past the top team in the 2nd division.

      (Quote)

  2. Do we play Shelvey 3 days apart?

    Or Hayden? Or Joe? They have both played a lot of games.

    No Gayle either as I see us wanting to save him for the weekend.

    My guess is the Longstaffs in midfield and who knows who as centre forward? Maybe Muto because I just cannot see Gayle or Joe starting.

      (Quote)

  3. I hope WBA play a reserve side. Could get embarrassing if they don’t. Don’t see us winning this.

      (Quote)

  4. Stuart79:
    I hope WBA play a reserve side. Could get embarrassing if they don’t. Don’t see us winning this.

    Stu – with WBA sat top of the Championship, I reckon Bilic will tell his boys to show they can mix it with a PL side.

    I’ve said it before, I really don’t think there is much in it between the bottom 5 PL clubs and top 5 Championship side – and in actual fact you may even back the Championship team as one 5 are used to winning (to be top of their league) and the other 5 used to loosing (to be bottom of theirs). That has to have an impact on the mentality of a group of players.

    At least we can say be beat the mighty Oxford – albeit over 2 legs and extra time.

      (Quote)

  5. I think I’d stick with 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 tonight

    ——————— Dubravka——————-
    Manq -Lascelles – Fernandez – Rose
    ————–—- Bentalab ——————
    ——— Sean ————— Matty ———
    Lazaro —————————— Almiron
    —————— Joelinton ———————

      (Quote)

  6. Craig Hope of the Daily HateMail is saying Bruce and St Max had a falling out and the winger was dropped for the Burnley game. Then he gets brought on for the last 12 minutes.

    So what point was Brucie trying to make here. That he is in charge but when he gets desperate he will change his mind and back down?

    Craig Hope is a decent reporter so I am not doubting his “exclusive” here.

    Hopefully they can sort it out as we don’t need stupid arguments at this point.

      (Quote)

  7. I am OK with that team Sharpy. Gets the loanees some gametime. But please Brucie, for once watch the game and give a few of the players the quick hook if they are off the pace. Thinking about Rose, Bentaleb and Sean specifically. Channel your inner Mourinho and if it isn’t working after 60 minutes get one or two off.

      (Quote)

  8. Eric, rumour is St Max was hour late to training. There was also a rumour he doesn’t get on with Miggy, ST that is, not steve.

    Whether any of it is true , god knows. Is felt his hammy code for we had a row now ?

    Think it’ll be another long slog tonight.

      (Quote)

  9. Not particularly bothered if St Max and Almiron don’t get along. Did everybody on here get along with all of the kids in school or ALL of their co-workers? I went to school with some total tossers and they are the same as adults.

      (Quote)

  10. KIMTOON:
    Eric, rumour is St Max was hour late to training. There was also a rumour he doesn’t get on with Miggy, ST that is, not steve.

    Whether any of it is true , god knows. Is felt his hammy code for we had a row now ?

    Think it’ll be another long slog tonight.

    Kim – Viera was happy for St to go because his discipline was bad and he clashed with teammates.
    The player has talent but if his commitment is lacking there’s nothing you can do.

    I haven’t been convinced by St yet. He has a turn of pace and can beat a defender, but not much end product in terms of goals, assists or even chances created.

      (Quote)

  11. When did football commentary get taken over by anoraks and trainspotters? I am watching a re-run of Watford-Liverpool and Arlo White is driving me nuts with all of the useless facts. The interesting information gets lost in the avalanche of uninteresting facts and overdescribing. He is the US TV equivalent of Martin Tyler.

    I actually have to turn the TV volume off for the first 20 minutes when either of these 2 commentate to let them get all of their FACTS on their clip board/yellow pad off their chest.

    This guy Arlo has a brilliant memory and an encyclopedic knowledge of football. But just like Martin he feels the need to demonstrate this during every game. And just like Martin he overdescribes to the point of being annoying.

      (Quote)

  12. Sharpy, Ah, i hadn’t read that mate, interesting. Looks like we could have another Benny situation then. Fans love him but coach and team mates do not.

    Eric, There was some fans on twitter saying they didn’t think St Max was passing to Miggy when he should and miggy was getting frustrated, not this week the one before. That’s why i asked the week before last if anyone had heard any rumours of fallout between the pair before any of these stories came out.
    Like you i don’t particularly care if they have differences but i do if it impacts passages of play and on field displays in general.

      (Quote)

  13. If it’s true that Wolves and Palace are interested in him , it might be best to let him go for as much as possible if it’s true he is disruptive. That would sadden me mind as i do really like watching him albeit his end product is lacking.
    Maybe he is as frustrated as the fans are with our tactics.

      (Quote)

  14. Kimtoon: I think Almiron and St Max have felt like they have had to do it all themselves so it is not always a question of end product it is who do they have to pass to. Joe seems lost as a centre forward so maybe with Gayle back there will be some forward runs into the box.

    I would be frustrated as well playing bloody 9 at the back most games.

    I don’t think St Max or Almiron’s games are that difficult to fix, just give them someone to pass to and tell them they don’t have to beat the whole opposition team every time.

      (Quote)

  15. KIMTOON:
    If it’s true that Wolves and Palace are interested in him , it might be best to let him go for as much as possible if it’s true he is disruptive. That would sadden me mind as i do really like watching him albeit his end product is lacking.
    Maybe he is as frustrated as the fans are with our tactics.

    agree mate,didnt the Nice manager have the same problem with him plus poor at training

      (Quote)

  16. Ice, yeah apparently so, i had no idea about his past until i saw what Sharpy posted. I do like watching him as i also did Benny .

    Eric, fair point mate, we should of gotten a pacy forward for them to feed, all we have is a rusty Gayle, sicknote Andy and joenotanumber9linton. 🙄 😳

      (Quote)

  17. Icedog: for a purported 40 million you want the finished product not a work in progress. It really just doesn’t make any sense with Joelinton. He had only had one full season in the Bundesliga and scored 7 goals. He was out on loan in Austria before that.

    Who is Nickson anyway? We need Lazaro and Bentaleb to be a success for him to keep his job because Joe has been a total bust so far and if it is true that St Max is causing trouble… And Krafth 🙂

    Also looking like we should have bitten Man Us hand off with 25 mil for Longstaff. Football recruitment is not just about buying it also about selling. Mind, I think I would have heard the howls in Chicago from Ed’s Blog if we had sold Longstaff.

      (Quote)

  18. just dont know why Bruce didnt take Toson on loan hes not great but better than we have and he got his Turkey form back he would be a gem,never got a fair run at Everton imo,was worth a try

      (Quote)

  19. Eric Sykes:
    Icedog: for a purported 40 million you want the finished product not a work in progress. It really just doesn’t make any sense with Joelinton. He had only had one full season in the Bundesliga and scored 7 goals. He was out on loan in Austria before that.

    Who is Nickson anyway? We need Lazaro and Bentaleb to be a success for him to keep his job because Joe has been a total bust so far and if it is true that St Max is causing trouble… And Krafth 🙂

    Also looking like we should have bitten Man Us hand off with 25 mil for Longstaff. Football recruitment is not just about buying it also about selling. Mind, I think I would have heard the howls in Chicago from Ed’s Blog if we had sold Longstaff.

    Nickson needs the sack over joe and Kraft,but i do think theres something not right about that 40 mil for joe a fiddle somewhere along the line

      (Quote)

  20. Icedog: there has to be something dodgy about the Joe deal. I have seen so many people mention that it made no sense. You would have to think he was the second coming of Ronaldo (Fat or Portuguese) to pay that. Nickson supposedly had scouts watch him over 20 times.

    Shearer is saying he is not a number 9 and I would trust Al over Nickson, whoever he is. It is Fat Mike being penny wise with Nickson and pound foolish with Joe if we really believe the price that was supposedly paid.

      (Quote)

  21. I have tried to give Joelinton the benefit of the doubt of settling in a new country etc. But have we really seen anything to suggest he was worth what we supposedly paid or that he will become the next Thierry Henry? So far it has looked like he will be the next Stephan Guivarch.

      (Quote)

  22. Eric Sykes:
    I have tried to give Joelinton the benefit of the doubt of settling in a new country etc. But have we really seen anything to suggest he was worth what we supposedly paid or that he will become the next Thierry Henry? So far it has looked like he will be the next Stephan Guivarch.

    spot on mate

      (Quote)

  23. There’s not a Lyn attacking player on earth who would success in this team playing like this. We attack one player at a time and there’s more often than not just one in the box. Our midfield and defence play so deep that it’s normal to keep losing the ball because to go forward it has to be a long ball. When SM or Miggy get the ball they’re on their own and then lose it. It’s impossible.

      (Quote)

  24. Always darkest before the dawn – is that even true? So 3 nil to us tonight with a Joe hattrick. he has to start showing something soon to justify his fee.

    Brucie at least seems to realise now that we have been playing anti-football and are the worst team in the PL despite the points. The pundits are even saying it now and they are always in the corner of old UK managers.

    I actually want Bruce to succeed. I have nothing against him but this soul-sucking football has to end. He will take us down unless he changes his ways and probably should hire some better coaches.

      (Quote)

  25. Eric, I blame Jabba for the Joe signing more than Nickson . He was busting a gut to sign him even saying he’d put half the fee up from his own pocket if need be. He is either more dumber at spotting talent than we thought or was trying to totally piss off Rafa who wanted Rondon for less than half the price.

      (Quote)

  26. Going to Mexico on Saturday and there has been only 1 suspected case of coronavirus there. Not downplaying it but one friend I am going with was thinking about cancelling.

    2 cases so far in the US. That’s surprising given how many Asian tourists come here now.

    300 people die every year falling off ladders in the US.

    They closed The Louvre on the weekend which I suppose is a good idea as I was at The Grand Canyon a month ago and half the people there were Chinese.

    I expect a Panic on the Streets of London soon.

      (Quote)

  27. Eric, I think 6 people died in Washington state in the last few days. All old or ill.

    I have to say I’m a little bit staggered at the panic doing the rounds. BA have cancelled a lot of NYC flights already. I understand cancellation to China and Northern Italy but people are talking about PL games behind closed doors, Cheltenham festival cancellation, army intervention and closing schools for 2 months!!!

    I have allergies and you should see people looking at me when I’m sneezing 4 or 5 times and coughing… 😯 😕 🙂

      (Quote)

  28. Stuart: one of the fiends I am meeting in Mexico lives in Seattle so he should be happy to leave. The other works on an airline and is not fazed at all.

    There does seem to be a panic going on though.

    Can we cancel some games at SJP? Give Joe another few months to find his bearings and sack Brucie?

      (Quote)

  29. The team for tonight is sort of what I expected – see above from much earlier. Saving Shelvey, Ritchie and Gayle for the weekend and getting playing time for the loanees.

      (Quote)

  30. Eric
    There are many coronavirus cases in the USA.
    Now coast to coast with new cases confirmed in Tampa at the weekend.
    Back to football and I can not see a goal in our line up .
    Nil Nil best we can hope for – again.

      (Quote)

  31. sidekick: checked a couple of days ago and I expect it has escalated since then like it has everywhere else.

    Many, many Asian tourists in Chicago now so I think there will be some panic here soon as well.

      (Quote)

  32. FFS, not showing the game here but BBC Radio Newcastle said NUFC “LEGEND” John Anderson is commentating. LEGEND FFS.

    I have said this before, I have a much higher standard for LEGEND. It is like Mick Quinn when The Chronic call him that. He was a journeyman player just like Ando. And they are both miserable most of the time.

    Milburn, Shearer, McDonald, Beardsley, Keegan are legends.

    Not Ando or Quinny FFS.

      (Quote)

  33. This is bringing a whole new level of boredom. Even when we have more of the ball were ****. Do they do anything on the training ground or just play darts?

      (Quote)

  34. Get innnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnMiggy

    Christ hell of a lag on this red button bbc channel keeps buffering

      (Quote)

  35. Almiron is a good player from what I saw in MLS. Just have to use him correctly. Can supply a number 9 but also fit in behind and score.

      (Quote)

  36. 2 nil. Take it. First half won’t be a cake walk but we’ve been ****e but a better ****e than them and that’s what matters.

      (Quote)

  37. Get innnnn, 2-0, and 2 goals for Miggy.. Joelinton playing well and great backheel for the second goal.

    Just hope we don’t sit back now and try to defend this lead in second half… if we do that we will lose. Go at them… so far so good, and Rose is still sh.it.

      (Quote)

  38. Almiron is a number ten by the looks of things. He needs to stay and play there. Forgot the nonsense about our wide. He just needs a striker to play behind. It’s a shame for him he’s at NUFC on that front 😀

      (Quote)

  39. There certainly doesn’t seem to be a problem between St Max and miggy going by the celebrations

      (Quote)

  40. Why the hell do we sit back like that. We played the ball around at the back like silly beggars. Why didn’t we continue to attack? It’s always the same. We sit back and invite the opposition to come at us.

      (Quote)

  41. It’s almost like they are following a script on how to throw away a football match. Unbelievable.. every single time we have a lead we manage to throw it away and bring pressure on ourselves. Where is the killer instinct to just keep attacking, like Liverpool, Arsenal, City, et al… we are rubbish…

      (Quote)

  42. Groucho:
    Why the hell do we sit back like that. We played the ball around at the back like silly beggars.Why didn’t we continue to attack? It’s always the same. We sit back and invite the opposition to come at us.

    Snap Groucho

      (Quote)

  43. The minute Miggy and ASM went they knew they had a chance and got forward more, would loved to of seen hayden on rather than Shelvey.
    Bentaleb is poor

      (Quote)

  44. So some positives. Left in the cup are the following: Sheff Utd, Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal. I expect Spurs, Leicester and Man City to be the QF along with us. This season we have beaten, Chelsea, Man Utd, Spurs and Sheff Utd.

    I just wouldn’t want to face City so I assume we will probably draw them. But one game from Wembley.

      (Quote)

  45. I didn’t catch the matter but if the match as the Wi-fi was pathetic but someone says on Facebook that Bruce took Almiron off and reverted to a defensive formation and then we conceded two goals? Any truth?

      (Quote)

  46. I see Steve Bruce gave it to Craig Hope from Daily Mail after the match. 😆 very funny. Good to see a manager fight back

      (Quote)

  47. Stuart79: Leave a Reply

    Your

    Stuart we took off three attackers and only put one attacker back on – Gayle. Other replacements were Shelvey and Lejeune. Draw your own conclusions.

      (Quote)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green