Newcastle travel to the Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal in the Premier League as they again go in search of their first win of the campaign.
Eddie Howe is set to be in the dugout for the first time as the club’s manager and his impact could give the Magpies the lift they need to get themselves off the foot of the table.
How many changes will Howe make to the team against the Gunners? Here is our predicted XI…
We are predicting that he will make three alterations to the side from last week, with Martin Dubravka, Isaac Hayden and Ryan Fraser coming in.
Starting off in goal, Karl Darlow could be axed from the team for Dubravka to be handed his first start of the season. We published an article explaining why the former deserves to be dropped from the team after his recent blunder against Brentford, and the Slovakian could benefit from such a decision.
It would then be over to the 32-year-old to show that he is able to hit the ground running and reclaim his place as the club’s number one. A strong performance and a clean sheet could be a perfect return to action for Dubravka, and we are predicting that Howe will give him the opportunity to play.
In midfield, Isaac Hayden could come into the side ahead of Joe Willock. Playing at the Emirates could require an added defensive emphasis on the midfield and the 26-year-old enforcer could be selected to play as a holding midfielder next to Jonjo Shelvey. He has averaged 3.4 tackles and interceptions per game this season, showing that he has the ability to cut out attacks in the middle of the park.
Finally, we are predicting that Ryan Fraser will come into the side for Ciaran Clark in order to facilitate a change in formation. Howe’s favoured setup is said to be the 4-4-2 with two number sixes in midfield, which would mean that a centre-back needs to be dropped for a winger from the starting XI against Brentford.
Clark has been in poor form this season and the £42k-per-week dud should be axed from the side for Jamaal Lascelles and Fabian Schar to start as a centre-back pairing, with Fraser moving out wide. He could then provide service to Callum Wilson and Joelinton up top.