Howe to make 4 changes from hotel room? – Predicted NUFC side to start vs Brentford today

This weekend is already one of the most hotly anticipated matches in recent Newcastle United history.

Eddie Howe won’t be in the dugout at St James’ Park after testing positive for Covid-19, but there are reasons to be positive as this still feels like the first game of a new era.

It is difficult to predict the starting eleven he’ll pick from his hotel room on Tyneside, but I’ve given it a go below…

Karl Darlow – There are reasons why Karl Darlow will be replaced in the long term, but Martin Dubravka is still on his way back from injury. He played for Slovakia during the international break, but he hasn’t had a lot of time on the training ground with Howe. The new manager may decide to be loyal to Darlow in the short term.

Javier Manquillo – It has been a decent start to the season for Manquillo. He has been one of the better performers this season, not that there have been many that have played well. He will likely be used at right-back, especially if Howe plays with a back four.

Jamaal Lascelles – Howe will be wanting the team to be better in possession and Lascelles may be a player that worries about this. He has his limitations on the ball and that will need to improve. However, his leadership and physical attributes mean he needs to start in defence.

Federico Fernandez – In the long term, Howe will want a left-footed centre back to start in defence, but Ciaran Clark isn’t in good form. Fernandez has lots of experience and should be able to do a good job until the transfer window opens. 

Matt Ritchie – It isn’t sustainable for Ritchie to play at left back for much longer. However, Howe knows him well and will want his experience on the pitch. Jamal Lewis has been on international duty and may be eased back into the team under Howe.

Jacob Murphy – Murphy showed impressive work rate at Brighton and deserves to retain his place in the team. He could be used in a right midfield role, as he has the work rate and attacking quality to do well there.

Jonjo Shelvey – Eddie Howe spoke up about the role that Jonjo Shelvey is going to play in the short term. He has the passing range and confidence on the ball to thrive in Howe’s system. This is another chance for him to prove his worth.

Sean Longstaff – It has been a decent start to the season for Longstaff, as he slowly gets back to his best form. His contract will be up at the end of the campaign and there will be discussions within the club about his future. He has the ability on the ball to do well under Howe. Longstaff’s career could be put back on track by the new manager.

Ryan Fraser – The Scottish international has struggled to play well since moving to the North East. He now has a manager that knows how to get the best from him and he is one of the many who will benefit from the new regime. 

Allan Saint-Maximin – It has been a mixed start to the season for Allan Saint-Maximin. It will be interesting to see how the Frenchman adapts to life under Eddie Howe. He should be given a free role alongside Wilson in the first instance, but there are a lot of players pushing for that role.

Callum Wilson – Wilson will be delighted to be working with his former manager again. He is the key player in the attack and the next four games give him an opportunity to get amongst the goals. 

OUT – Krafth, Clark, Hayden and Almiron?

IN – Manquillo, Fernandez, Longstaff, Fraser?

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.

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