According to the Chronicle, both Andy Carroll and Dwight Gayle are in contention to play against Chelsea. However, Steve Bruce must keep them on the bench and continue with Joelinton from the off.
The Brazilian started against Manchester United but struggled to make an impression. He was replaced early in the second half by Carroll, who changed the game. The veteran was much more of a focal point, playing the most minutes he had since returning to Newcastle.
Gayle was another option on the bench, making his first appearance in the squad since returning from his West Brom loan. Injury has dented his Newcastle return, but he is now back and fully fit.
While Bruce may be tempted to shuffle his pack and try something new up top, he must persevere with Joelinton for now.
Carroll still hasn’t played more than 45 minutes, while we’re yet to see anything from Gayle after his injury. If Bruce were to start either of them, it would be a risk.
We’ve seen at times that Joelinton can be a threat if things go his way. He deserves another chance to play at least 60 minutes, then Bruce can decide what we need for the final half an hour.
Are we missing a real presence up top? Get Carroll on. Do we need a poacher who will run in behind? Turn to Gayle. Are things working as they are? Stick with Joelinton.
With both Carroll and Gayle’s fitness issues, starting them just isn’t an option right now. Carroll is still building up his match fitness and we don’t really know where Gayle is at following his calf bother.
It’s too early for either player to start, especially against a top six club like Chelsea.