Ahead of today’s game at St James’ Park, it’s time to predict what side Eddie Howe will go with as we take on Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester City.
Ryan Fraser (hamstring) is a doubt, Joe Willock (knee) could return to the squad, but Kieran Trippier (foot) and Callum Wilson (calf/achilles) look set to miss out once again despite making good progress.
Keeping all of the above in mind, here’s the 11 we can see starting come 2.15pm:
(4-3-3): Dubravka – Krafth, Schar, Burn, Targett – Guimaraes, Shelvey, Joelinton – Almiron, Wood, Saint-Maximin.
OUT: Ryan Fraser IN: Miguel Almiron
Martin Dubravka – The Slovakian didn’t have much to do last Friday but stepped up in the second half with one superb save.
Emil Krafth – Had one of his best games in a black and white shirt against Wolves so will almost certainly keep his place here.
Fabian Schar – The ball-playing CB is good at getting us on the front foot at home and can create from deep. Hopefully he can boost his case for a new contract here!
Dan Burn – Back to his best last week and is a real leader at the back. Lascelles will get his chance between now and the end of the season, but it’s hard to see how he gets back in at present.
Matt Targett – Another January signing who was rock solid last time out, responding well from that 5-1 hammering at Spurs with a strong defensive display.
Bruno Guimaraes – Was the best player on the park against Wolves and has to be one of the first names on the team sheet.
Jonjo Shelvey – A player Howe seems to rate highly and one who has added consistency to his game since his arrival.
Joelinton – Plays a key role on the left-side of a midfield three, not only breaking up the play but covering for Allan Saint-Maximin. Wasn’t at his best against Wolves but still played a key role in the build up to the penalty. Saying that, Howe has a big decision to make if Willock is deemed fit enough to start.
Miguel Almiron – Fraser might just pass a late fitness test, however I can’t see him being risked. Howe praised Almiron’s display last Friday so I can see him getting a rare start here.
Allan Saint-Maximin – Hasn’t scored since January but most of his returns come at St James’ Park. Let’s hope he can get back on the goal trail here!
Chris Wood – Bagged his first goal on Tyneside last time out and will be looking to add to that now. Hopefully it’s given him a much needed confidence boost in front of goal.
Predicted Leicester XI (4-3-3): Schmeichel – Justin, Amartey, Soyuncu, Thomas – Mendy, Dewsbury-Hall, Tielemans – Lookman, Daka, Barnes.