Predicted Newcastle side to start vs Brighton – Jones to make THREE changes?

Graeme Jones will be taking charge of his third match as interim manager, despite the managerial speculation of the last week.

It is slightly disappointing that we don’t have a new boss at the helm, but it is an opportunity for the players to repay Jones’ faith and get a result for a coach that is clearly liked in the dressing room.

Below, we predict the possible starting eleven at the Amex Stadium:

Martin Dubravka – It is time to reinstate the number one goalkeeper. We win far more matches when he is in the team than when he is missing. He makes saves that our other keepers can’t, while his dominance of his area helps at set pieces.

Javier Manquillo – The Spaniard has been impressive, despite the disappointing results of the team. He is capable in both halves of the pitch and provides defensive quality that Jacob Murphy can’t. 

Federico Fernandez – Jones made an odd comment that there is no point in naming Fernandez as a sub, as he is only effective as a starter. He could be reintegrated in the team to help provide more leadership to the defence.

Jamaal Lascelles – The captain has certainly regressed since the departure of Rafa Benitez. However, it is unlikely that he will be dropped. He can play a big part this weekend and return to form in a crucial match for the team.

Ciaran Clark – The Irishman has been disappointing in recent weeks. He looks to be lacking confidence and teams are targeting him. However, he is a left footed option at centre back and Jones likes to have one in his back three. His form might warrant being dropped, but he won’t be.

Matt Ritchie – The stand-in left wing-back has been okay in recent weeks, but his defensive weakness remains a problem. His quality from dead balls means that he does continue to create chances. Ritchie will be looking to play well and impress his former manager, if Eddie Howe is set to take charge.

Isaac Hayden – Hayden is another that might be on the chopping block, but Jones won’t be wholesale changes. He needs to be a lot better at protecting the back four and ensuring we aren’t overrun in midfield. Hayden needs to play well sooner rather than later, otherwise he could be dropped by the new manager.

Sean Longstaff – Longstaff has been one of the best performers this season. Although that doesn’t say a lot, he has certainly got closer to his best and he deserves to retain his place in the team. We need our midfield to play well this weekend and Longstaff is our more in-form.

Miguel Almiron – It is time to make a change in midfield, as Ryan Fraser hasn’t been effective in the role. Although it isn’t Almiron’s natural position, he has a high work rate and he is capable of carrying the ball long distances. That could be key in helping us create more chances.

Allan Saint-Maximin – The Frenchman has been quieter in recent weeks, which suggests he is due a good performance. He will want to impress the incoming manager. If he is at it this weekend, we have a chance of securing our first win of the season.

Callum Wilson – Wilson picks himself until he gets an injury. He has been scoring goals, despite poor performances from the team. If we create chances for him this weekend, he will take them.

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