Newcastle United return to action in the Premier League tonight as they take on Everton at Goodison Park in a huge match in the battle against relegation.
The Magpies will go 12 points clear of the Toffees, who are 17th, and put themselves in a fantastic position heading into the final nine matches of the campaign, whilst leaving their opponents in hot water.
Eddie Howe’s men come into the game off the back of a 1-0 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last weekend, as Kai Havertz scored the only goal of the match.
How many changes will Howe make to the side? Here is our predicted XI…
We are predicting that he will make three alterations to the team, with Joe Willock, Ryan Fraser and Allan Saint-Maximin returning.
Starting off with the formation – Howe may look to switch from a 5-4-1 to a 4-3-3. He went with a defensive set-up at Stamford Bridge in the absence of some of his central midfield options and the return of Willock will allow him to revert back to his winning style.
Newcastle played with a 4-3-3 in their previous nine Premier League matches heading into their clash with Chelsea and did not lose a single game as they won seven and were held to draws in the other two. This suggests that the head coach must go with this set-up against the Toffees and starting the ex-Arsenal man in place of centre-back Jamaal Lascelles will mean that he can do just that.
Out on the left, we are predicting that Saint-Maximin will replace Jacob Murphy. The former Norwich winger only completed 47% of his attempted passes against Chelsea, whilst losing eight of his 12 duels and providing zero key passes – as per SofaScore.
Therefore, Howe must unleash the French wizard from the start. He has five goals and three assists this season, which proves that he has the quality to be a game-changer for the Magpies.
Finally, Fraser could come in to take Miguel Almiron’s place on the right of the front three. The Paraguayan did not do anything majorly wrong against Thomas Tuchel’s side to force this change, but the Scotland international’s recent form suggests that he is the best option.
The ex-Bournemouth flyer has two goals and two assists in his last seven Premier League matches as he has started showing signs that he can become a crucial player for the club moving forward. He has been able to provide a spark in the final third, having previously been dubbed “electric” by journalist Sean McCormick, and that is why he must start.