Newcastle welcome Brighton to St James’ Park this Sunday in what will be our third game of the season.
Steve Bruce has guided us to two wins from two games so far this term, and we’re yet to concede a goal following a 2-0 victory over West Ham and a 1-0 win over Blackburn.
Having thrown a number of fringe players into Carabao Cup action on Tuesday – with some impressing – it will be interesting to see who Bruce selects against the Seagulls.
Here’s the XI that we think the Magpies boss should deploy…
Dream moment for Mark Gillespie?
While he may only have been signed as a third-choice keeper, Newcastle supporter and glovesman Mark Gillespie shone against Blackburn and deserves his Premier League debut.
Fans were impressed with his distribution of the ball in particular, while his aerial dominance in claiming crosses was also evident.
That will be required against a physical Brighton team, who boast giants such as Lewis Dunk, Adam Webster and Ben White, who could be huge threats when attacking corners.
Same again in defence
If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. Arguably, Gillespie only got so many chances to prove himself against Blackburn because our defence was woeful – we let Tony Mowbray’s side have 16 shots, whereas we only had five.
As a result, we think Bruce should reinstate the same backline who kept West Ham out: Javier Manquillo, Jamaal Lascelles, Federico Fernandez and Jamal Lewis.
Allan Saint-Maximin out, Miguel Almiron in
While Allan Saint-Maximin is one of the Magpies’ best players, he suffered a slight injury scare against Blackburn.
Even though he appears to be okay, it isn’t worth risking him when Miguel Almiron has done so well and deserves a first league start of the campaign.
The £20 million Paraguayan has notched an assist in each of our games this term, despite playing just five minutes against the Hammers when he set up Jeff Hendrick. Bruce must reward him for his efforts.
Andy Carroll and Callum Wilson once again
This two-man strike force worked very well against West Ham, and it will be needed against Graham Potter’s men.
As we said earlier, Brighton have big, physical players in defence, so Andy Carroll’s aerial ability and Callum Wilson’s knack of getting into good areas should hopefully see the aforementioned trio caused some issues.
Predicted lineup: Gillespie; Manquillo, Fernandez, Lascelles, Lewis; Shelvey, Hayden, Hendrick, Almiron; Carroll, Wilson.