After last week’s collapse at Arsenal, Newcastle need a response.
The Magpies are away again this week, facing an out-of-form Crystal Palace side. The Eagles are yet to win a game in all competitions in 2020.
Ciaran Clark is ruled out with injury, but will Steve Bruce make any other changes for the game at Selhurst Park?
Lejeune starts over Schar
With Clark picking up an injury at the Emirates, there is a space to fill in Bruce’s back five. But who should it go to – Fabian Schar or Florian Lejeune?
The Frenchman seems like the better fit, as he’s the most comfortable in Clark’s position as the left-sided centre-back.
Ideally, we’d like to see Bruce change to a back four, but that seems unlikely.
Despite a difficult afternoon last week, Valentino Lazaro and Danny Rose should continue at wing-back.
Big decision to be made in centre midfield
Sean Longstaff and Nabil Bentaleb started against Arsenal, but will they continue at Palace?
Isaac Hayden should really start, but it’s hard to see Bruce dropping either Longstaff or Bentaleb. The manager seems to be a fan of his January signing, starting him at every opportunity.
Gayle in, Joelinton out
It seems all but certain that Dwight Gayle will take Joelinton’s place up front.
There will be huge pressure on Gayle to deliver, as Newcastle desperately need to find a source of goals.
Predicted lineup to face Crystal Palace: Dubravka; Fernandez, Lascelles, Lejeune; Lazaro, Longstaff, Bentaleb, Rose; Almiron, Saint-Maximin, Gayle.