Having gone into the international break off the back of a 3-1 victory over Burnley, Newcastle will surely be raring to go when they welcome Manchester United to St James’ Park on Saturday night.
The Magpies have started the new Premier League season in fine fettle, with two wins from four, and picking up a total of seven points from a possible 12.
But the international break throws up its own quandaries for Steve Bruce to solve, not least with potential injury doubts and fitness concerns. And with that in mind, below is a look at how the Magpies might line up for the visit of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
In goal, Karl Darlow will continue to start in between the sticks, with Martin Dubravka still a long-term absentee. It was even suggested earlier in the week that he could miss another few weeks of action due to a setback.
In front of him, there are two big question marks over a couple of key players for Newcastle: Jamaal Lascelles and Jamal Lewis. The former missed the game against Burnley due to a hamstring problem, with Fabian Schar coming in.
The Switzerland international however has had a rough week, getting sent off for his country in their clash against Germany, but such is the lack of options at his disposal, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Bruce having to stick with him.
Lewis on the other hand suffered a slight Achilles problem, and unless he’s 100% fit, there is no way the Newcastle boss should be taking a risk with him – that could see Javier Manquillo shift over to left-back, with Emil Krafth starting on the opposite flank.
In midfield, Jeff Hendrick had a nightmare display against Finland, and having played an incredible amount of minutes for the Republic of Ireland, Bruce may be wise to rest him, with Sean Longstaff getting a run-out instead.
And after a couple of sparkling performances for Scotland, Ryan Fraser may have worked himself into first-team contention, and he could replace Joelinton out wide. That could see a very dynamic front-three of the Scot, Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin.
Predicted XI: Darlow; Krafth, Fernandez, Schar, Manquillo; Hayden, Shelvey, Longstaff; Fraser, Saint-Maximin, Wilson.