Newcastle United got off the mark this campaign thanks to their 1-0 dogged performance at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last week. Joelinton’s first goal for the club was the difference, as Steve Bruce registered his first win as Newcastle boss.
Although, despite such a great result in the Premier League, Newcastle were knocked out of the Carabao Cup to Leicester City in midweek. However, Bruce will be more concerned about the injuries endured against the Foxes as he admitted that three of his men picked up knocks, adding to an already stacked injury list.
There were many changes for the League Cup tie and even more could be made this weekend now that the ex-Sunderland boss has even more injuries to contend with.
So, how will he line-up his side later on today against Watford?
Despite Federico Fernandez and Ciaran Clark both receiving sevens for their performances in midweek (as per the ChronicleLive), Bruce should stick with the same centre-backs that won in north London. The back three of Paul Dummett, Jamaal Lascelles and Fabian Schar remained impenetrable throughout the Spurs win, giving each of them a deserved 8/10 match rating (as per the Independent).
Elsewhere, Matt Ritchie ‘is a mess’ according to Steve Bruce, after his injury against Leicester, which should force in backup player Christian Atsu, who replaced the ex-Bournemouth man in that game.
Sean Longstaff and Isaac Hayden both achieved a 7/10 for their spirited performance against Spurs [Independent.co.uk], whilst Jonjo Shelvey continues to prove his worth with his average of five long balls per game and by scoring 50% of Newcastle’s league goals so far.
Bruce explained Emil Krafth picked up a thigh strain during the League Cup tie, which should force in Javier Manquillo who replaced the Swede during the match. The Spaniard played 90 minutes against Arsenal on the opening day, completing two interceptions and one tackle (as per WhoScored.com).
Joelinton excelled in the centre-forward role against Spurs scoring an excellent goal and completing 95.7% of his 23 passes in a very traditional no.9 role (as per BBCsport).
Alongside him, Miguel Almiron should come back in with Andy Carroll still sidelined. The Paraguayan may not have scored for the Magpies just yet, but his 13 goals and 11 assists for Atlanta United last year [WhoScored.com] show his capabilities and he received an 8/10 for his performance against Spurs (Chronicle Live).
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