After securing a solid 3-1 win over Everton in midweek, Newcastle United are back in Premier League action this afternoon with another home clash against Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa in their latest attempt at moving away from the relegation zone.
In terms of the players Howe could select in his starting XI to take on the Villans, one man who didn’t start against Everton but we feel should be in the team from the beginning today is January signing Bruno Guimaraes.
After joining the Tyneside club during the January transfer window from Lyon in a deal worth a reported £40m, the Brazilian made his debut for the Magpies during the midweek win against Frank Lampard’s Everton, coming on as a late substitute.
Now that he has some experience of being involved in a Premier League match for Newcastle at St James’ Park, this clash against Villa could be a great opportunity for the midfielder to get his first start at his new club and experience a full game.
Before joining the Magpies, Guimaraes ended his time at Lyon as their second-highest rated player in terms of his performances in Ligue 1 with an overall rating of 7.21/10 according to WhoScored, showing just how capable he is of playing at one of the top clubs in Europe and displaying why Newcastle went after him in January.
Described as a player who “constantly offers solutions” by former Lyon team-mate Houssem Aouar, the 24-year-old could end up being a useful figure for Newcastle against Villa, particularly from a defensive point of view as the Midlands club have scored 10 goals in their six previous league games.
With fellow January arrival Kieran Trippier likely to miss the game as a result of a calf injury he suffered against Everton, this could be a good chance for Howe to put the spotlight on Guimaraes instead to see how he gets on in what would be his first start for the Toon.