Graeme Jones is set for his first match in charge of Newcastle as interim manager against Crystal Palace in the Premier League today.
Steve Bruce was relieved of his duties earlier this week and Jones now faces the unenviable task of trying to pick up the Magpies’ first win of the league campaign at Selhurst Park.
Bruce’s denouement came in the form of a 3-2 defeat to Tottenham last week, with Newcastle 3-1 down at half-time before Jonjo Shelvey was sent off in the second half.
How many changes will Jones make to the side? Here is our predicted XI for today…
We are predicting that he will make four changes to the side from last week, with Miguel Almiron, Fabian Schar, Jeff Hendrick and Jamal Lewis all coming in.
In defence, Schar and Lewis could come into the XI for Ciaran Clark and Matt Ritchie. We published an article explaining why the Northern Ireland left-back should start, with the ex-Norwich man deserving of a chance to show that he can be an upgrade on Ritchie in the Premier League following the £39k-per-week dud’s disappointing showing against Spurs.
Clark has started six Premier League games and averaged a SofaScore rating of 6.62. He has won 64% of his duels and made four clearances per match. Meanwhile, Schar has achieved a score of 6.75 in two league starts, winning an exceptional 83% of his duels and making 4.5 clearances per game. This suggests that the Swiss defender could come in and be an upgrade alongside Jamaal Lascelles, which is why Jones could select him for this match.
In midfield, Hendrick could start ahead of Sean Longstaff. The Newcastle academy product had a nightmare against Spurs as he was hauled off after 60 minutes and was given a SofaScore rating of 6.4 as he lost half of his duels. The Irishman scored in his last appearance against Wolves, which suggests that he could come in and add a goal threat to the team.
Almiron watched on from the stands as Newcastle lost to Tottenham due to his late return from international duty, which means he could now be fresh and raring to go for this clash with Palace. The wide midfielder could come in for Joelinton, who we have urged Jones to axe, and play out on the right, with Allan Saint-Maximin switching out to the left-hand side.
We are predicting that the rest of the XI will stay the same, with Callum Wilson, Saint-Maximin, Lascelles, Javier Manquillo, Karl Darlow, Isaac Hayden and Joe Willock all retaining their places.