Eddie Howe’s Newcastle United face off against Wolves tonight as they return to Premier League action at St James’ Park.
The Magpies were left humbled last time out in the top flight as Tottenham smashed them 5-1 in north London, after Fabian Schar had given the Toon the lead with a fine free-kick.
Howe’s side have now lost three games in succession and they will be hoping to turn things around against Wolves in front of their own supporters.
How many changes will the 44-year-old make to the team from last Sunday? Here is our predicted starting XI…
We are predicting that he will make three alterations to the side, with Jamaal Lascelles, Jacob Murphy and Bruno Guimaraes all coming in.
Wolves typically play in a 3-4-2-1 or 3-5-2 formation and Howe may look to counter that by moving to a 3-5-2 of his own, particularly after the manner of the defeat last week.
This means that he will need to bring in another central defender to play alongside Dan Burn and Fabian Schar. In that case, Lascelles must come in as the middle centre-back in the three, as he is strong in his individual duels and can win headers in the box.
He has won an outstanding 75% of his aerial battles this season and averaged 4.8 clearances per game. This suggests that he will be perfect for the role, as he has the defensive quality to deal with crosses coming into the box, which is why he must start tonight.
With the change in formation, Murphy could come in to play at right wing-back. Javier Manquillo lost three of his five duels and only made one tackle and interception combined last Sunday, and he could now be dropped to the bench to make way for the former Norwich man because of his poor display in north London.
Finally, Guimaraes may come in to replace Joe Willock. The English gem is struggling with an injury and is a doubt for the game tonight, which means that his place in the middle of the park may be up for grabs.
The £40m man should start next to Jonjo Shelvey and Joelinton if the ex-Arsenal youngster misses out. He impressed upon coming off the bench against Spurs last week and deserves his chance to show what he can do from the start tonight. As per SofaScore, he won seven duels and four tackles and completed 96% of his attempted passes in the 5-1 defeat, showcasing his quality as a substitute.
Guimaraes has been dubbed as “exceptionally talented” by former Celtic manager Neil Lennon and he must line up in the middle of the park for Newcastle tonight.