Newcastle should replace Almiron with Carroll for trip to Chelsea

Newcastle will look to build on their win against Manchester United when they visit Stamford Bridge on Sunday, but in order to do so Steve Bruce may have to make a bold change to his side.

Given the tactical success he had in the win at Spurs and for almost 40 minutes at Anfield, it is likely the Magpies boss will only again choose to operate with a back five, but it is his decision-making in attack which could prove decisive.

Andy Carroll has been building his fitness levels over the last few weeks and he has shown signs that he is capable of starting his first match for Toon since 2011.

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There is no doubting that he is a popular man in the north-east and as a result many fans are keen to see him start soon, with Joelinton so far not living up to his £40m price tag.

However, the Brazilian plays an important role in Bruce’s team and therefore his manager should continue to show faith in him, so instead it should be Miguel Almiron who misses out on a start.

The Paraguayan has shown glimpses of his quality, particularly on the ball with one successful dribble per game, but in front of goal it has been a disappointing repeat of the story of last season, as he is still yet to register a goal or assist for the Magpies.

As a result, he may be better suited to using his pace from the bench, and instead Carroll should start up-front alongside Joelinton.

Newcastle are likely to be under pressure for long periods. They have averaged just 38% possession this term, and their opponents have scored 18 goals from eight league games.

That means that when they do get the ball clear they need it to stick upfield, and the former West Ham striker has the strength and experience to hold the ball up and pick out a teammate.

His 100% pass accuracy so far this campaign from his three substitute appearances shows that ability, and if he can link with Joelinton and Allan Saint-Maximin on the break then Bruce’s side could have some joy going forward.

As well as that, his effort and energy would also allow his side to defend from the front, and if he can limit Jorginho’s influence on proceedings then Newcastle may be able to replicate the success they enjoyed at the Tottenham Stadium a few weeks ago.

Should Bruce bench Almiron?

No

No

Yes

Yes

Article title: Newcastle should replace Almiron with Carroll for trip to Chelsea

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