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Newcastle United: Muto tipped to replace Joelinton in Carabao Cup squad

Newcastle United: Muto tipped to replace Joelinton in Carabao Cup squad

Newcastle United are expected to make a string of changes for the Carabao Cup tie at home to Leicester City, with Yoshinori Muto tipped to replace the injured Joelinton by the Chronicle.

Club-record signing Joelinton was one of a number of casualties from the Magpies’ first win of the season, having departed North London with an expected groin injury after opening his account as United beat Tottenham Hotspur 1-0.

Fellow summer arrival Allan Saint-Maximin is also a doubt for the Foxes clash after re-aggravating the hamstring injury that ruled the Frenchman out of the Norwich City encounter, while Jamaal Lascelles (calf), Miguel Almiron (ankle), Fabian Schar (knock) and Christian Atsu (muscle) are also facing time on the sidelines.

Newcastle head coach Steve Bruce is not expecting Saint-Maximin’s hamstring recurrence to lead to a lengthy absence, though, and has sworn to name a strong line-up in the Carabao Cup.

“We’re waiting to let the hamstring settle,” he told the assembled media at his pre-game press conference. “The initial scans say it is not serious, but we won’t know the severity of it until later.”

“The exertions of Sunday have affected some,” he added. “A lot had a difficult pre-season, while some are coming back. We have to assess them. But I’ll pick a team that I think can get through.”

With doubt residing over a number of would-be starters, Bruce is expected to make a string of changes to the side that beat Tottenham on Sunday, with rarely-seen striker Muto tipped to replace Joelinton if the 6 ft 1 Brazilian is not deemed fit.

Muto has featured as a late substitute in each of the Magpies’ last two league games, having spent a majority of his time on the bench or omitted from the matchday squad under Rafa Benitez last season (TransferMarkt). He was previously critical of Bruce’s tactics against Norwich City and said he felt ‘isolated’ up front but has appeared in the last two games, suggesting he is a part of the plans.

The 5’8 former Mainz ace is clearly a much different option than the 6’1 Brazilian to lead the line with Muto unlikely to offer as much hold-up play than his teammate given their difference in size. That would hint at a change in tact for the Magpies, who have largely focused on playing with just the one target man this season.

Federico Fernandez and Matty Longstaff may also be named in the teamsheet alongside the 29-cap Japan international, while Jonjo Shelvey could be a good option having sat out the weekend win.

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