Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin – it seems to be a case of one or the other against Leicester.
The former has started every Premier League game so far this season, but is massively out of form. The latter has struggled with injury, but returned last week against Brighton. Saint-Maximin nearly provided the spark Newcastle needed, on a day where they got an undeserved point.
Newcastle’s attack has looked pretty tame so far this season, despite Steve Bruce claiming that he would bring attacking football to St James’ Park. Saint-Maximin is his best bet to bring excitement for supporters, but we’ve seen it from Almiron in the past too.
They are yet to link up in a Newcastle shirt, but their pace and dribbling ability could give the Magpies an extra edge in the final third – an edge that we’re desperately missing.
A risk not worth taking for Bruce just yet?
Leicester will be a really difficult game and one where we’ll spend most of the afternoon defending. For that reason, it’s likely we will only see one of Almiron and Saint-Maximin. The pair are very attack-minded, but Bruce will need to ensure his side are compact and tough to break down at the King Power Stadium.
Therefore, it’s more likely that Christian Atsu will retain his place in the starting XI. But if Bruce really wants to prove he’s going to play attacking football, he should start Almiron and ASM, with Atsu on the bench instead.
Sadly, he probably can’t afford to take that risk with the pressure currently on his side. If he did start the pair and Newcastle were hammered, he’d be criticised for his tactics.
But if the pair did start and Newcastle got the win, his risk would have paid off and ease the pressure on his shoulders. It would be a real statement of intent from Bruce.