The Chronicle report that Steve Bruce has a number of decisions to make before the game at Stamford Bridge, including whether or not to include Jonjo Shelvey after the midfielder returned from his recent injury.
Muto has only started a single Premier League game since Bruce took charge at St James’ Park, and has had to settle for minutes off the bench for the Magpies.
It is no surprise that the £54,000-a-week [Source: Spotrac] Newcastle man could be left out against Chelsea, and he would only have himself to blame if he was left at home. The 27-year-old has simply not been good enough ever since arriving at St James’ Park, and the time has definitely come for Bruce to utilise both Carroll and Gayle off the bench and see if they can offer much more in the final third. Muto has only ever scored one Premier League goal for the club, and you can’t help but think his opportunity has gone to make much of an impact at this stage of the season. Muto has only averaged 0.2 shots on goal per game according to WhoScored, and that is nowhere near good enough for a striker who will be expected to add a consistent flow of goals for the first team. Bruce would be well within his rights to leave Muto behind, and it would be the first hint that patience surrounding the Japanese forward is finally running out.