Newcastle United return to action in the Premier League tonight as they face off against Manchester United at St. James’ Park.
The Magpies head into this match off the back of three straight defeats in the division, conceding four apiece to Manchester City and Leicester and three to Liverpool.
Eddie Howe’s team lost 4-0 to City in their last outing, with the Premier League leaders easing their way past them with relative comfort.
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 Fabian Schar, Sean Longstaff and Allan Saint-Maximin coming in.
Starting off in the defence, Schar could come in for Ciaran Clark. The £42k-per-week dud was abysmal against Manchester City and should now be axed from the XI for this match. He only won one duel in the entire game against Pep Guardiola’s side and gifted them the opener as he allowed a cross to go over his head as he ducked and Ruben Dias was on hand to nod into the back of the net.
This catastrophic error may now lead to him being kicked out of the team, which opens the door for Schar to return alongside Jamaal Lascelles. The Switzerland international has averaged a dismal SofaScore rating of 6.59 this season but Howe’s options are limited and it could be a chance for the defender to turn his campaign around.
In midfield, Isaac Hayden is suspended and will need to be replaced. The ex-Arsenal man has averaged 3.0 tackles and interceptions per game, which highlights the defensive hole that his absence will leave.
Longstaff, however, could fill that void as he has averaged 3.1 tackles and interceptions per game, showing that he has the ability to win the ball back for his side, much like Hayden does.
Finally, we are predicting that Allan Saint-Maximin will come in for Ryan Fraser on the left. He has averaged a WhoScored rating of 7.11 (highest in the squad) this season and produced three goals and three assists from out wide for the Magpies.
This shows the threat he can provide to the team, whereas Fraser has zero goals and one assist – which is why the Frenchman should be brought back into the fold.