To the shock of everyone, Steve Bruce will be in charge as Newcastle face Tottenham Hotspur this weekend.

The Magpies were embarrassed last time out against Brighton, and have had two weeks to stew on a humiliating defeat.

But while there has been no change of manager, will there be wholesale changes as Bruce looks to find the winning formula against a Tottenham side chasing European football?

West Bromwich Albion v Newcastle United - Premier League
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No change at the back

While Newcastle were shocking against Brighton all over the pitch, it seems unlikely that there will be any changes at the back.

One possibility is recalling Federico Fernandez, but I expect Bruce to continue with Jamaal Lascelles and Ciaran Clark.

The only possible change could be in goal. Martin Dubravka has been ill this week, while he also became a father.

However, Bruce believes the goalkeeper will be fit to start.

Golden chance for Sean Longstaff

Isaac Hayden’s injury is a huge blow, but it could hand a chance to a forgotten man on Tyneside.

 

Sean Longstaff hasn’t started since the desperate defeat to Sheffield United.

Newcastle United v Fulham - Premier League
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However, I’m expecting him to get a chance in the absence of Hayden.

Newcastle need someone who can match Hayden’s energy in midfield, which Jeff Hendrick certainly can’t.

Either Longstaff brother could do a job, but Sean seems the more likely to get a chance.

Bench for Allan Saint-Maximin

While Callum Wilson seems set to miss out, Allan Saint-Maximin could return this weekend.

However, unless Bruce plans to change system, it seems unlikely that the Frenchman will start.

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He is only just back from a muscle problem, while Ryan Fraser has been in wonderful form for Scotland over the international break.

It seems likely we’ll see Saint-Maximin in some capacity against Spurs, but it will most likely be from the bench.

Predicted XI to face Spurs: Dubravka; Manquillo, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett; Shelvey, Willock, S.Longstaff, Almiron; Joelinton, Fraser.

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