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Newcastle: Eddie Howe must unleash Joelinton at Old Trafford

Eddie Howe’s Newcastle United return to action in the Premier League this afternoon as they travel away to Old Trafford to face Manchester United.

The Magpies are sixth in the table and are unbeaten in their last four games in the division, with 5-1 and 4-1 wins over Brentford and Fulham respectively in their last two outings.

They smashed the Bees 5-1 last time out, with Bruno Guimaraes (x2), Jacob Murphy, Miguel Almiron, and an own goal from Ethan Pinnock sealing the three points.

The Red Devils, meanwhile, have won three of their last four matches in all competitions and five of their last six in the Premier League heading into the game.

Erik ten Hag’s side are one point above Newcastle, having played a game less, in the table and Howe should look to put out a robust team capable of frustrating the Old Trafford crowd.

Joe Willock started in midfield against Brentford but the manager should unleash Joelinton ahead of the Englishman to improve the club’s work off the ball.

In the top-flight this season, the former Arsenal man has won 3.7 individual duels and made 2.7 tackles and interceptions per match. Meanwhile, the Brazilian enforcer has come out on top in a whopping 7.3 battles and completed 3.6 tackles and interceptions per outing, which suggests that he offers more to the side from a defensive perspective.

Joelinton ranks in the 84th percentile or higher for blocks, clearances, and aerial battles won per 90 among players in his position in Europe’s top five leagues over the last 365 days. On the other hand, Willock ranks in the 64th percentile or lower in all three categories.

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Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson celebrates with Joelinton

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Therefore, the former Hoffenheim man could be a better option in the middle of the park as he offers quality out-of-possession that could help to deal with the likes of Christian Eriksen and Bruno Fernandes.

Joelinton also bullied Manchester United in his last appearance against them, back in December of 2021. The Magpies held them to a 1-1 draw at St. James’ Park and the £80k-per-week machine was incredible in midfield as he made four tackles, three interceptions and two blocks, whilst also creating an eye-catching four chances for his teammates.

Former Chronicle writer Mark Smith once dubbed the Brazilian a “colossus” and his statistics, against the Red Devils in 2021 and in the Premier League this season, back that up.

He has the physical presence to be crucial for Newcastle in midfield as they potentially attempt to keep things tight before hitting on the counter with the pace of Callum Wilson, Jacob Murphy, and Miguel Almiron.

Article title: Newcastle: Eddie Howe must unleash Joelinton at Old Trafford

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