Newcastle United will be looking to continue their fantastic run in the Premier League as they travel away to face Southampton at St. Mary’s tonight.
The Magpies are on an eight-game unbeaten run in the division and now play two games in the space of four days with a chance to go ten matches without a defeat in the top-flight.
How many changes will Howe make to the team? Here is our predicted XI…
We are predicting that he will make three alterations to the side, with Javier Manquillo, Bruno Guimaraes and Miguel Almiron all coming in.
The first change may come at right-back with Manquillo replacing Emil Krafth. Against Brighton, the Swedish defender lost four of his seven duels and only completed 59% of his attempted passes, whilst Manquillo has won 64% of his duels and completed 71% of his passes this season in the Premier League.
This suggests that the Spaniard would be more reliable on and off the ball with his ability to retain possession and his physicality in individual battles. Therefore, Howe could opt for the ex-Liverpool man in the only change we are predicting to the defence.
In midfield, Bruno Guimares could finally be named in the starting XI for the first time since his January switch from Lyon. Joe Willock struggled badly against the Seagulls and could have taken out of the team for this match as a result.
As per SofaScore, the dud, who Freddie Ljungberg previously dubbed “passive”, lost seven of his ten ground duels and was dribbled past a staggering five times, whilst also committing one error directly leading to a shot at Martin Dubravka’s goal. In an attempt to avoid burning the ex-Arsenal man out, Howe could start the Brazilian January signing in his place.
This could offer Miguel Almiron, who was dubbed a “manager’s dream” by Steve Bruce, the chance to come in on the right. The ex-Norwich man would then be able to rest and be fully prepared for the clash with Chelsea, where he could be needed to run his socks off to track Thomas Tuchel’s flying full-backs.