After a dramatic draw against Manchester City, Newcastle have another tricky task on the horizon.
High-flying Sheffield United are next up for Steve Bruce’s side, with the Blades settling into Premier League life with ease. Chris Wilder’s side are three points above Newcastle, and will be confident ahead of the game at Bramall Lane.
The Magpies are going in search of their third away win of the season, but will Bruce rotate as the busy schedule continues?
A change at the back
While our defence were brilliant against Manchester City, the busy schedule means Bruce should consider a change in defence.
Fabian Schar is back from injury, and as arguably our best player, should be back in the starting XI. The form of his teammates has kept Schar on the bench, but Thursday night’s game is a good opportunity to bring him back into the side.
With Newcastle also set to face Southampton on Sunday, Bruce really should shuffle his pack. Recalling Schar certainly wouldn’t be a risk.
Paul Dummett would be the most likely casualty, forcing Federico Fernandez and Ciaran Clark along one position, allowing Schar to play as the right centre-back.
Shelvey to continue
Jonjo Shelvey was the hero on Saturday, netting a stunning equaliser. It was a captain’s performance from Shelvey, who has taken the armband since Jamaal Lascelles’ injury.
After his latest performance, Shelvey has to continue alongside Isaac Hayden. That means Sean Longstaff will remain on the bench, who didn’t play against City despite returning from suspension.
At least one of the Longstaff brothers should get some minutes off the bench against the Blades, with Sean the most likely candidate.
Joelinton out, Gayle in
Another game, another goalless performance from Joelinton. The Brazilian is really struggling, and the pressure is mounting with Dwight Gayle looking lively when he came off the bench at the weekend.
The busy schedule should lead to Gayle getting a chance from the start, and allow Bruce to check out his other striker. He doesn’t necessarily need to drop Joelinton as such, rather rotate him and give him a rest from the starting XI.
Gayle has a point to prove, and should get a chance to prove it against Sheffield United.
Predicted lineup: Dubravka; Schar, Fernandez, Clark; Manquillo, Hayden, Shelvey, Willems; Almiron, Saint-Maximin, Gayle.