Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce must take a few risks with his team selection if the Magpies are to get anything out of Saturday’s trip to Chelsea.
The Magpies will be coming up against an extremely in-form side who have been reenergised under manager Frank Lampard, and so Bruce would do well to shake things up a bit from the victory over Manchester United last time out.
With that said, he would be best served to drop the axe on three players from that game, with DeAndre Yedlin, Ciaran Clark and Miguel Almiron set to drop out.
Javier Manquillo, Paul Dummett and Dwight Gayle must come in for that trio. With those three changes, Newcastle would have a chance of upsetting the Blues.
There are no questions about who should start between the sticks for Newcastle, with Martin Dubravka the undisputed number one. The Slovakian international must start once again here.
Manquillo appears to be perpetually underrated for the Magpies, but he is undoubtedly the most consistent of the team’s right wing back options. With that said, he should replace Yedlin on Saturday. On the opposite flank, meanwhile, Jetro Willems is the main man and must keep his place.
Dummett was very unlucky to be dropped for Clark last time out, having been a victim of Bruce’s poor tactics against Leicester City, and he should replace the Irishman at centre back. Alongside him, it’s Fabian Schar and Jamaal Lascelles all day long.
There’s not even a question of who should start in central midfielder after the Longstaff brothers’ masterclass against United. Both Sean and Matty have to play from the outset once again.
Meanwhile, Joelinton should shift out wide where he seems to be better suited. That would allow Gayle to play through the middle and utilise his predatory instincts, with the woeful Almiron missing out. Allan Saint-Maximin must get the nod on the left.