Newcastle: Journalist insists Eddie Howe may tweak his formation
Journalist Jacob Whitehead believes that Eddie Howe could soon change his formation at Newcastle United, tipping Elliot Anderson as a potential incoming ahead of the weekend.
The Lowdown: Newcastle should change things up
Howe has been pretty set in his ways this season, with Newcastle constantly lining up in a 4-3-3 formation, but due to the sheer number of absentees via injuries and suspensions, he could now be forced into a tactical change.
Joe Willock, Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin all left the field early last Saturday against Bournemouth, while Bruno Guimaraes is set to miss this weekend’s clash against Liverpool due to the red card he picked up against Southampton in the Carabao Cup semi-final.
Therefore, Howe could take a body out of midfield because of the lack of depth in that position if Willock misses out, and perhaps deploy another attacker – with someone such as Anthony Gordon potentially up for a first-team nod.
The Latest: Injuries may force a change in formation
Whitehead claimed on Pod on the Tyne that while Howe might not want to change formation before a cup final, injuries may well force his hand this weekend.
He said: “I actually thought Elliot Anderson looked okay when he came on against Bournemouth, it was one of his more encouraging cameos, and so he could potentially come in as an option – especially if Willock’s not fit.
“I’d be slightly wary about changing formation ahead of such a big game against a team in Liverpool, who still are, I think – at the moment – European rivals.
“I think he’ll consider it; I’d be surprised if he does it.”
The Verdict: Howe to stick to what he knows
Considering that Howe has talked up Anderson over the last few months, it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise to see him thrust into midfield this weekend with a raucous St James’ Park driving him on.
However, when Willock was replaced last weekend at Bournemouth, it was Gordon who came into the centre of midfield. However, Anderson may be seen as a more natural fit, and chucking him in at the deep end against Liverpool could be the best way to test his ability.
It would indeed be a huge risk for Howe to switch up formations ahead of Liverpool’s visit and spend a week on the training ground trying to drill unfamiliar ideas into his side with a Carabao Cup final on the horizon, so it may just be a case of patching people up and soldiering on.