After going down 2-0 to Chelsea last weekend, the very least Newcastle fans will be hoping for is a bit of fight and intent from their side when they take on Crystal Palace at St James’ Park on Friday night.
The Magpies fell to Frank Lampard’s side with nothing more than a whimper, and face a Palace team also smarting from defeat – the Eagles lost 1-0 to Burnley last time out thanks to an early Chris Wood goal.
In respect to team news, Bruce delivered a mixed bag in his pre-match press conference, that whilst his side is set to be boosted by the return of a couple of key players, there is some major uncertainty over others.
And with that in mind, below is a look at how the Tyneside club might line up for the clash against Palace on Friday.
In front of Karl Darlow, the big injury concern for Bruce surrounds captain Jamaal Lascelles who was forced off against Chelsea last weekend. The Magpies boss confirmed that he is a “doubt” to make the Palace game, but if he can come through a late fitness check, expect the 27-year-old to keep his place alongside Federico Fernandez and Ciaran Clark.
And after experimenting with moving Jacob Murphy further forward and into a more natural winger role, Bruce may opt to stick with that, particularly with the emerging news that Allan Saint-Maximin has been seemingly ruled out of tonight’s clash with a late injury.
That could open up a spot for Miguel Almiron to come into the team, and the Paraguay international will surely feel like he has a point to prove given everything that has happened between his agent and manager.
And in the last change Newcastle could make, is the return of Callum Wilson. The England international missed out against Chelsea due to injury, but Bruce delivered a huge boost in his pre-match press conference by confirming his star striker’s fitness, and that will surely see the £18m-rated Joelinton drop back to the bench – the Brazilian has yet to score in the Premier League this season.
Predicted XI: Darlow; Manquillo, Fernandez, Lascelles, Clark, Lewis; Almiron, Longstaff, Hayden, Saint-Maximin; Wilson.