Newcastle United face a potentially wounded Manchester City on Sunday.
Pep Guardiola’s side suffered Champions League heartache on Wednesday, being knocked out of the semi-finals by Real Madrid.
It was an agonizing night for Manchester City, who simply just have to go again on Sunday. They’re chasing the Premier League title, and it remains in their hands.
But can Newcastle spoil their title bid and inflict more misery at the Etihad? Here is the team we predict Eddie Howe to go with…
Too soon for Kieran Trippier
While Kieran Trippier is back in full training, it would be a real surprise to see him start against Man City. He might be keen to face his former club, but it’s probably not worth reintroducing him so early.
A role on the bench would certainly give fans a boost, who have massively missed the £12million man.
But Emil Krafth is performing well, and should keep his place at right-back.
The one change at the back we are predicting sees Jamaal Lascelles start. He replaced the injured Fabian Schar midway through last week’s 1-0 defeat to Liverpool.
With just three games remaining, we expect Howe to give Schar a rest, handing an opportunity to the skipper Lascelles.
Joelinton back in the middle
Joelinton played on the left against Norwich and Liverpool, but should be central again on Sunday. We need his energy and power to disrupt Manchester City’s rhythm.
He should take Joe Willock’s place in centre-midfield, creating an opening out wide.
Rather than deploy Allan Saint-Maximin deeper, we predict Howe to go with Jacob Murphy. That would give the Magpies pace on both flanks with Miguel Almiron on the right, while also boasting players who can be relied upon defensively.
ASM up front again
While he was poor against Liverpool, we expect Saint-Maximin to remain up front. We need his dribbling ability to get us up the pitch, and it is probably a better out ball than Chris Wood against the champions.
Hopefully we see Callum Wilson back on the bench. He’s back in full training and hasn’t played since December 27th 2021.
Predicted XI to face Man City: Dubravka; Krafth, Lascelles, Burn, Targett; Almiron, Bruno, Shelvey, Joelinton, Murphy; Saint-Maximin.