Could these 5 changes help Graeme Jones’ NUFC earn surprise result vs Chelsea?

Few inside St James’ Park will be expecting a result against Chelsea this weekend, but you just never know in the weird and wonderful world of football.

We hung on for a point at Crystal Palace last Saturday and will need to be better if we’re to get a surprise result in this one, so what changes could Graeme Jones make ahead of our meeting with the current European Champions?

Here’s five we think would make a big difference to this struggling NUFC side:

Martin Dubravka in for Karl Darlow

Darlow is a good shot stopper who has rarely let us down when called upon over the last few seasons, but I believe Dubravka’s ability to bark out orders and organise the defence in front of him has been a big miss. He’s been back in training for a few weeks now and should come back into the side, for me.

Fabian Schar for Emil Krafth

The Swiss international must be wondering how on earth Sweden’s second choice right-back is getting in ahead of him – especially now we’ve switched back to a five-man defence. His composure on the ball could be needed given how sloppy we were last weekend, not to mention the fact his searching passes from deep could help release the likes of ASM, Wilson or Almiron on the counter.

Federico Fernandez for Ciaran Clark

He may be entering the twilight years of his career, but I can’t understand why the usually reliable Argentine has been dropped. Fernandez remains one of our better defenders – albeit from a pretty bad bunch – and should be replacing an out of sorts Ciaran Clark; who has been bullied by Kane and Benteke over the past two games.

Joe Willock for Sean Longstaff

Our summer signing hasn’t quite hit the heights he reached during his loan spell last season, however he’s another who is wasted on the bench. Our midfield options are poor and he has the sort of pace, energy and goal threat needed to unsettle a usually solid Chelsea side.

Miguel Almiron for Ryan Fraser

If the Palace game was Fraser’s audition to keep his place in the starting line up, he wouldn’t be getting the job. He has quality and regularly assisted Wilson during his Bournemouth days, but we just haven’t seen that so far. As for Almiron, his work rate, discipline and ability to break with pace could be key at both ends of the pitch this weekend, with us needing to track Chelsea’s marauding wing-backs and exploit the space they leave in behind when possible.

What changes would you like to see Graeme Jones make this weekend?

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!

4 thoughts on “Could these 5 changes help Graeme Jones’ NUFC earn surprise result vs Chelsea?

  1. Olly – if by surprise result you mean we don’t get absolutely battered, then perhaps.
    We have players in the squad that can be organised enough to make things difficult for Chelsea – but that’s about it imo. We robbed a point off Palace largely because their forwards weren’t clinical. They should have been 3 up by half time – given the same chances, Chelsea WILL punish us.

    Of your changes, I would play Murphy over Almiron or Frazer.


  2. Not a bad selection, about as good as we could pick, I would have left Kraft thought he did okay but move Shar to DM.


  3. Fernandez for Lascelles, strangely Clark is a better player when Lascelles isn’t in the team, probably worrying too much about having to cover for him !!


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