It is the beginning of a new era on Sunday, as we welcome Tottenham to St James’ Park.
Despite rumours suggesting Steve Bruce would be sacked, he will take charge of his 1000th game as a manager this weekend.
The atmosphere will be great, but the focus needs to be on getting three points. Relegation remains a very real concern, even if we are the richest club in the world.
Below, we discuss our predicted eleven for the game.
Karl Darlow – There is a lot of competition in the goalkeeper position and it is one of the few positions that the new owners don’t need to strengthen. Martin Dubravka will be back soon, but for the moment, Darlow deserves to keep his place in the team.
Javier Manquillo – The Spaniard is having a run in the team and he is the most balanced option in the squad. Although he doesn’t set the world alight with or without the ball, he is a steady Premier League full-back.
Jamaal Lascelles – The captain could return to action this weekend and that would be a huge boost. We have missed his leadership and the renewed optimism around the club could help him get back to his best. He is one of the players that could step up and help the club move forward under new owners.
Ciaran Clark – Centre back is a problem position for us. Clark is unlikely to have too many more matches in black and white. However, while Steve Bruce is in charge, he will likely get starts. Bruce likes having a left-footed centre back. Clark will start based on that.
Matt Ritchie – Unfortunately, Jamal Lewis doesn’t look like getting another start under the current manager. That will mean that Ritchie is given another game at left back. He is very unsuited to the role and it will be worrying if Son Heung-min isolates him. This is a real weakness for us at the weekend.
Isaac Hayden – The midfielder has been used in a variety of different roles this season. It is likely that he will play in midfield and could operate in front of the defence. He can thrive in the role and the atmosphere on Sunday could help him get back to his destructive best.
Sean Longstaff – There has been an improvement in the academy graduate’s performances this season. The new owners will want to get him signed to a new deal, as he has the potential to grow with the club. Jonjo Shelvey is back in contention, but Longstaff deserves to keep his place.
Joe Willock – He was injured before the international break, but it isn’t believed to be too serious. Willock needs to step up his performances following his summer arrival from Arsenal. There is an opportunity for him to be one of the stars of the new era at St James’ Park. He will be relishing the chance to get back to scoring ways against Tottenham, as an Arsenal academy graduate.
Allan Saint-Maximin – Every one expects the French attacker to play a huge role in the development of the club. Sunday will be the perfect occasion for him, as the atmosphere will be electric and he will be want to play a match-winning role to kick start the new era.
Callum Wilson – It was confirmed that Wilson is back and available, which is a huge boost. We miss his clinical edge in the final third. He will want to get back to scoring ways on Sunday.
Joelinton – Due to Miguel Almiron being unavailable, it is likely that Joelinton will start on the left wing. There has been a steady improvement in his performances and he has scored twice against Tottenham during his Newcastle career.
Fernandez and Almiron out, Lascelles and Wilson in?