Steve Bruce should make six changes to his starting line-up on Wednesday night as Newcastle United prepare to take on Leicester City at St James’ Park in the Carabao Cup second round.
The Magpies’ boss has plenty of decisions to make in terms of different combinations, while keeping one eye on the Premier League clash against the same opponents on Sunday, with Newcastle surely wanting to keep their momentum from their first win of the season against Tottenham.
With the defence being so impressive in that win, Bruce should keep some of the same players in the side for the Foxes game, with Martin Dubravka, Fabian Schar, and Paul Dummett keeping their spots – whereas Jetro Willems should make his full debut.
The Dutchman has impressed on the ball during brief cameos this season, averaging one key pass on average, as well as a pass success rate of 81.3% [WhoScored] and should be given the opportunity to play a full 90 minutes.
Dummett was the man of the match in the Spurs’ game and it would make sense for Bruce to give his defenders the opportunity to continue their form in the cup, but with the manager confirming to the Shields Gazette that Jamaal Lascelles has picked up a knock, Federico Fernandez must come in.
With Newcastle having three right-backs to choose from when DeAndre Yedlin returns from injury, it is only right for Bruce to give Javier Manquillo the chance to stake his claim to cement his spot in the first team.
Sean Longstaff has only just fully recovered from a long-term absence and can not be rushed into playing too much football, with Bruce already confirming he wants to look after the youngster.
Jonjo Shelvey is more than capable of replacing Longstaff, so he should start alongside Isaac Hayden.
The £70,000-a-week midfielder [Spotrac] started the first two games of the season and was unlucky to miss out on starting against Spurs.
Miguel Almiron should keep his spot in attack, with the tricky Paraguayan playmaker needing to open his account in a Newcastle shirt after impressing despite not registering a goal or an assist.
The forward could kickstart his scoring on Wednesday if Leicester choose to field a weakened side, with one goal surely all it would take to fire the playmaker into a season full of goals.
Christian Atsu replaced Allan Saint-Maximin midway through the first half and assisted Joelinton with a lovely chipped ball, and the Ghanaian will be looking to keep his place in the side during the Frenchman’s injury lay-off [Shields Gazette].
With Bruce confirming to the Northern Echo that Joelinton had picked up a knock in the second half, Wednesday’s game will be the perfect opportunity for Bruce to rest the club-record signing – giving the chance to Yoshinori Muto to come in and impress.
This starting line-up could eliminate Leicester City on Tuesday, and safely secure Newcastle’s passage to the third round with its blend of experience pivotal to their success.