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Newcastle: Keith Downie believes Jacob Murphy could start in cup final

Newcastle: Keith Downie believes Jacob Murphy could start in cup final - Newcastle United News

Keith Downie has revealed that he wouldn’t be surprised if Eddie Howe hands Jacob Murphy a rare Newcastle United start.

The Lowdown: Howe has a huge tactical decision to make

A lot of the talk has been about who will start in the cup final on Sunday given the absence of Nick Pope, albeit Loris Karius will be the overriding favourite given his experiences across different competitions.

However, there is indeed another huge call facing Howe this weekend with Joe Willock back in training, he could be in line to start the cup final, potentially in place of Allan Saint-Maximin.

While many me see it as a straight shoot-out between Willock and Saint-Maximin, Downie believes Murphy could be in line to start in the Carabao Cup final, despite being handed just 584 minutes in the Premier League this season.

The Latest: Murphy may get a shock start

Downie has been speaking on the National World YouTube channel about how Murphy could be in line to start this weekend despite having just two goal involvements to his name all season.

He said: (17:30) “I think Willock will be given every chance to start the game, if he doesn’t it will then be I think between either Allan Saint-Maximin or Jacob Murphy to come in on the left-hand side.

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see Murphy start just given the fact that I think he’ll want to have Saint-Maximin as an impact sub to come off the bench in the second half alongside Alexander Isak or Wilson.”

The Verdict: Starting Murphy would be a wild decision

Given that Howe could deploy one of Saint-Maximin or Joelinton on the left this weekend, it would be a huge shock to everyone associated with the Magpies to see Murphy handed just his seventh start of the season.

Murphy has been used in every single game this season by Howe, albeit most of them have seen him come on for cameo appearances in the second half, so to then be thrust onto the Wembley stage would be a huge call from Howe.

If Howe wants to get after Man United and try to win the game early on, starting Saint-Maximin could be the way to go, but if he wishes to keep things tight and frustrate the Red Devils, then starting all of Willock, Joelinton, Bruno Guimaraes and Sean Longstaff would be the safest bet.

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