After waiting weeks and weeks for a competitive fixture, we now already have another one to look forward to!
Newcastle welcome Blackburn to St James’ Park this evening in the second round of the Carabao Cup.
Steve Bruce will be hoping to build on the opening day win against West Ham. However, there should also be opportunities for some players who didn’t feature in that match to stake a starting place.
So, which fringe players will line up to face the Championship outfit?
Ciaran Clark’s big chance, another opportunity for Karl Darlow
The Magpies have been linked with a centre-back in this window – Rob Holding. The ex-Bolton man now looks set to stay at Arsenal, but from that, we can tell Bruce wants another central defender.
As a result, this is a big moment for Ciaran Clark to prove he can be relied on to deputise this season.
Elsewhere, with Martin Dubravka still injured, Karl Darlow could move one step closer to securing the No.1 jersey with another solid display.
Jamal Lewis may also get another run-out at left back to familiarise himself with the team, while we think Emil Krafth could play on the right.
Sean Longstaff, Ryan Fraser and Matt Ritchie must impress
Those three names are definitely good enough to be considered as league starters for Bruce, so they need to impress.
For Fraser, it will be more about fitness having not played since June. Ritchie will also need to get some minutes under his belt having struggled with a calf issue lately, whereas Longstaff needs to rediscover his form of old.
A new Joelinton?
We think the Brazilian should start against Blackburn, purely to see if Callum Wilson’s arrival has changed anything.
While Joelinton floundered last term, he didn’t have much competition for his place. Therefore, a lack of motivation could’ve been an issue.
However, with a new £20 million striker on the block who has already scored, the £40 million ex-Hoffenheim man needs to show what he’s about against Championship opposition.
Predicted lineup: Darlow; Krafth, Fernandez, Clark, Lewis; Shelvey, Longstaff; Ritchie, Almiron, Fraser; Joelinton.