Steve Bruce’s Newcastle United side will be looking to get back to winning ways in the league when they welcome Frank Lampard’s high-flying Chelsea side to St. James’ Park on Sunday. The Magpies’ last league win came before the holiday period, and the Toon Army will surely be eager to see the team pick up their first three points of what promises to be an extremely challenging start to the New Year.
Newcastle’s most recent fixture was the FA Cup 3rd round replay against a lowly Rochdale side, and Steve Bruce’s men showed themselves in an extremely good light on that occasion. Even though the Blues are guaranteed to be a different kind of test to the one they were were given by Dale, the Newcastle players will be confident about producing a shock result against the reigning Europa League champions.
Jamaal Lascelles has unquestionably been one of Steve Bruce’s biggest misses since his injury at the start of the campaign, and the Newcastle skipper’s return to action will surely be seen as a positive sign. Meanwhile, Dwight Gayle and Yoshinori Muto are both doubts for this fixture. Allan Saint-Maximin is another one of the players who could make his return to this side this week, while Javier Manquillo and Paul Dummett have both been ruled out.
5-4-1 Newcastle United Predicted Lineup Vs Chelsea
Martin Dubravka was rested for the cup replay against Rochdale and is set to make his return to the first-team when Chelsea come to Tyneside. In front of him, expect the return of Newcastle skipper Jamaal Lascelles back into the team, with Federico Fernandez and Ciaran Clark supporting him on either side. In the wing-back roles, we expect to see the familiar faces of American international DeAndre Yedlin and Dutch speedster Jetro Willems on either side.
The return of Allan Saint-Maximin could trigger the return of Steve Bruce’s preferred four-man midfield, with the pacy winger operating down the left flank. This means that former MLS sensation Miguel Almiron could be moved over to the right side, and considering the scoring form he’s starting to show, the Paraguayan is sure to have a big part to play. Across the centre of the park, Jonjo Shelvey could be partnered by English midfielder Issac Hayden.
Joelinton could be handed the role of lone striker yet again for this fixture with both Dwight Gayle and Yoshinori Muto will likely miss out due to injuries. As good as Andy Carroll is, banking on the former Liverpool man alone to deliver as the target man could turn out to be a blunder. Steve Bruce will be hoping that the first-choice striker’s late goal against Rochdale acts as the positive catalyst that the Brazilian forward needs to reinvigorate his season.
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