On the face of it, it doesn’t sound like Newcastle versus Burnley will be a footballing spectacle. The Clarets are hardly well known for their free flowing football, while Steve Bruce’s side has been described as anti-football.
But Newcastle are on a good run, and come up against a Burnley side who are desperate for some points after three defeats on the bounce.
So what team will Bruce pick as he looks to extend his unbeaten run to four games?
Fabian Schar to start
Fabian Schar came off the bench in the win against Southampton, replacing the injured Ciaran Clark at half time.
It’s been confirmed that Clark will miss the game at Turf Moor, so this is a simple change for Bruce. However, he must make one additional change to his defence – play Federico Fernandez in the middle.
Can Shelvey continue his run?
Jonjo Shelvey is in the form of his life, scoring three goals in three games. But he’s an injury doubt for the Burnley game, which could hand an opportunity to Sean Longstaff.
While longstaff is a good player, fans will be praying Shelvey is passed fit. The stand-in skipper is in a rich vein of form and we can’t afford to lose another important player to injury. Fingers crossed he makes the starting XI.
Joelinton out wide
Miguel Almiron also has a muscle problem, and Bruce may consider resting him, especially with Allan Saint-Maximin ruled out for a month. Newcastle can’t afford to be without both for a long period of time.
Andy Carroll should start in the Frenchman’s place, leading to a new role for Joelinton. The Brazilian has really been struggling, and Bruce hinted in his press conference that he may start playing out wide like he has done previously in his career.
Christian Atsu will be on standby if Almiron’s muscle problem stops him playing or if Bruce resists the temptation to move Joelinton out wide.
Predicted lineup to face Burnley: Dubravka; Schar, Fernandez, Dummett; Manquillo, Hayden, Shelvey, Willems; Atsu, Carroll, Joelinton.