Newcastle United travel to Carrow Road this afternoon to take on bottom of the table Norwich City, with Eddie Howe hinting at changes to how he will set up his team in his pre-match press conference on Friday.
When asked about possible changes to his side in the clash, Howe told the press: “We may freshen things up. We’ll have a look at it on an individual basis but we want players that are 100 per cent fit and ready to give their best again physically.”
In terms of injury news, there doesn’t seem to be any immediate changes with Ryan Fraser, Kieran Trippier, Callum Wilson, Isaac Hayden and Jamal Lewis all remaining unavailable for selection in today’s game.
With that being said, this is how Football FanCast expect Newcastle United to line up…
We predict that Eddie Howe will make three changes to the team that beat Crystal Palace on Wednesday night, in the typical 4-3-3 formation usually deployed by the Magpies manager.
The first changes we expect to see are in the midfield three with Joe Willock and Sean Longstaff joining Jonjo Shelvey in the centre of the pitch to replace Bruno Guimaraes and Joelinton.
The final change we expect to see is Jacob Murphy replacing Allan Saint-Maximin in the forward line this afternoon at Carrow Road, following Howe’s comments about potentially taking the opportunity to make changes in order to rest players ahead of the remaining games of the season.
Howe will likely axe the 25-year-old Frenchman – who was hailed “breathtaking” by Gary Neville and is reported to be valued at $78m (£61m) by the PIF – to give him a rest ahead of the clash with title challengers Liverpool at St James’ Park next Saturday, considering the left winger has played three games in the last 12 days.
Murphy will join Chris Wood and £74k-per-week ace Miguel Almiron in the forward line to complete the strike force against Dean Smith’s side, and Howe will be hoping that the Almiron can continue to be a goal threat.
The 28-year-old Paraguayan who was hailed “popular” by Don Goodman, scored the winning goal against Crystal Palace to put Newcastle on 40 points in the Premier League table, so we believe that Howe will reward the winger with a start in the team again against Norwich today.
Although Newcastle are likely to be safe from relegation, another three points would put them in a much more comfortable position, and potentially seeing them climb into the top half of the table – if results go their way this weekend.