After booking their place in the next round of the FA Cup, Newcastle return to Premier League action against Chelsea.
The Magpies got a hard earned point away to Wolves last week, and Steve Bruce has multiple key players back for the clash with Frank Lampard’s side.
Too early for Lascelles
While Jamaal Lascelles returned on Tuesday night, we might have to wait for his Premier League return.
The skipper is lacking match fitness, so throwing him in at the deep end against one of the league’s best sides might be too much to ask.
Instead, we expect Newcastle to start with the three centre-backs they finished with at Wolves – Federico Fernandez, Florian Lejeune and Ciaran Clark.
Hayden at right wing-back?
DeAndre Yedlin and Javi Manquillo are ruled out, while Emil Krafth wasn’t particularly impressive in midweek. So Bruce could throw a curveball and stick with Isaac Hayden on the right.
He was solid against Wolves, and could be a more reliable option than Krafth.
Hayden playing on the right should open up a space for Jonjo Shelvey in the middle of the park, who made his return against Rochdale as well.
While it would be harsh to drop Matty Longstaff, you can’t deny Shelvey’s class.
The big return for Newcastle is Allan Saint-Maximin. And we’re tipping him to start.
The French winger has been in training for a couple of weeks, and if he’s fit enough, he has to start against Chelsea. We’ve missed his ability on the ball, and he should be able to link up with the in-form Miguel Almiron.
Hopefully they can provide some chances for Joelinton, who ended his barren run in front of goal on Tuesday night.
Predicted lineup to face Chelsea: Dubravka; Fernandez, Lejeune, Clark; Hayden, S.Longstaff, Shelvey, Willems; Saint-Maximin, Almiron, Joelinton.