Newcastle United travel away to St. Mary’s to face Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton side in the Premier League tonight.
The Magpies are currently on an eight-match unbeaten run in the top-flight and have the chance to make it to ten by the end of the week as they face the Saints and then Chelsea on Sunday.
Eddie Howe’s side won 2-1 against Brighton last time out as goals from Ryan Fraser and Fabian Schar secured the win at St. James’ Park.
One change the Magpies head coach must now make to his team is the introduction of Bruno Guimaraes into the starting XI.
He must finally unleash the Brazilian midfielder by handing him his first start in the Premier League since making the switch from Ligue 1 side Lyon in January.
The £27m-rated star is a game-changer as he has shown that he has the ability to unlock a defence with his dribbling and passing from midfield. Despite all five of his Newcastle appearances coming off the bench, Guimaraes has created one ‘big chance’ for the Magpies after creating five in the first half of the campaign for Lyon – showing off his creativity.
He averaged an impressive 1.8 key passes and 1.9 dribbles per game for the French outfit and this shows that he has the quality on the ball to progress the play. The midfielder is capable of taking players on with the ball and has the end product to set up his teammates with his passes at the end of his runs, which is why he has the talent to be a game-changer for the Toon as he can have an influence in the final third.
Joe Willock should make way for him in the middle of the park after his disappointing performance last weekend. As per SofaScore, he lost 70% (7/10) of his ground duels and was dribbled past five times during the match against Brighton, which suggests that he was not at his best and could benefit from being dropped to the bench for this game.
The ex-Arsenal man making way will allow Howe to finally unleash Guimaraes, who was recently dubbed “exceptionally talented” by former Celtic boss Neil Lennon. This will be his big chance to show the supporters what he is capable of over 60/70 minutes, or even 90, and prove that he will be a huge player for the club moving forward.