It’s Newcastle United vs Crystal Palace in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night, and Eddie Howe is expected to make changes to his team.
The Magpies have been on a sensational run in the Premier League, but now must turn their attentions to the cup.
It’s been a long time since Newcastle were in League Cup action. They beat Tranmere 2-1 back in August to qualify for the third round. That’s where they will meet Crystal Palace, with the two sides set to face off in front of a packed out St James’ Park.
Howe has some big decisions to make, and this is our predicted Newcastle team to face Crystal Palace
Karl Darlow returns vs Crystal Palace
Karl Darlow is back from injury, and returned to the bench for the 4-1 win over Southampton on Sunday.
He hasn’t featured since the last League Cup game, and will be pushing to start against Palace. Darlow is clearly favoured over Loris Karius, and Howe should see this as a chance to rest first choice stopper Nick Pope.
There should also be a few changes at the back, with Jamaal Lascelles returning to the starting XI. We expect the skipper to play alongside Dan Burn at centre-back, allowing Matt Targett to start at left-back.
Howe will be reluctant to make too many changes though. Therefore, we anticipate Kieran Trippier to stop Javi Manquillo making his first start of the season.
First start of the season for Jonjo Shelvey
Speaking of first starts, that brings us to Jonjo Shelvey. The midfielder has been pushing to return in recent weeks, but has been reduced to cameo appearances off of the bench.
But the League Cup clash is the perfect chance for the 30-year-old to start, and we expect him to take Bruno Guimaraes’ place in the ‘number six’ position.
Shelvey will be joined by Joelinton, who was suspended on Sunday, and 20-year-old Elliot Anderson, whose only start this season came in this competition.
Saint-Maximin back in the Newcastle XI
With Callum Wilson struggling with illness, Chris Wood should start on Wednesday night. He scored in the League Cup second round, and he scored on Sunday as well. Hopefully the £25million man bags his third of the season against Crystal Palace.
But who will he flanked by? Well, Ryan Fraser has been out of the side for a while, and will no doubt be desperate for a start. He should get one, although Howe will likely keep Miguel Almiron on the bench just in case.
And then we’ve got Allan Saint-Maximin. The Frenchman hasn’t started since August, but is now back from injury and appeared off the bench in our previous two games.
The Crystal Palace game is a great chance for Maxi to prove his fitness. If he can produce for at least an hour on Wednesday, he could put himself in contention to start against Chelsea at the weekend.
Predicted XI to face Crystal Palace: Darlow; Trippier, Lascelles, Burn, Targett; Anderson, Shelvey, Joelinton; Fraser, Wood, Saint-Maximin.