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Newcastle United predicted XI: Steve Bruce must pack the defence for Liverpool clash

Newcastle United predicted XI: Steve Bruce must pack the defence for Liverpool clash

Newcastle United came back from an early goal against Watford to seal a point at St. James’ Park before the international break. The result leaves the Magpies firmly in the bottom half, despite that fantastic result against Spurs in August.

It was Fabian Schar who got the equaliser against Watford and followed it up with a magnificent goal for Switzerland over the international break.

However, Newcastle have nevertheless started slowly under Steve Bruce, having picked up just four points from an available 12, and up next for the ex-Sunderland manager is a trip to face the only side with 12 from 12 so far, Liverpool.

The Magpies will visit the European champions as huge underdogs, but Bruce and his men have already upset the odds once this season.

So, how will he line up his Newcastle side this time around?

Joelinton scored a brilliant winner against Spurs and the Brazilian has proved to be a nuisance for defences this season, registering 2.3 shots per game (as per WhoScored.com).

The ex-Hoffenheim man should be expected to lead the line solo against Liverpool, forcing Miguel Almiron out to the right. The Paraguayan, who is still waiting for his first Newcastle goal, has been fouled an average of 2.3 times per match and registered 1.5 shots per game so far.

Elsewhere, Matt Ritchie’s injury should bring in Christian Atsu on the left. The Ghanaian fantastically assisted Joelinton’s strike against Spurs, and this remains his only assist in his 155 minutes of game time this season (as per WhoScored.com).

In the centre, Jonjo Shelvey should come back in as the former Liverpool man scored against Norwich City and has averaged five long balls per game (as per WhoScored.com). Beside him, Isaac Hayden has been crucial for the Magpies, registering one assist and an average of 2.5 tackles per game.

Emil Krafth has started life well in the North East, with the Swede averaging four clearances per game and a pass success rate of 81% [WhoScored.com] down the right flank.

In the centre of defence, Fabian Schar has bagged for club and country over the past two weeks, and the Swiss international has averaged 3.3 tackles and 3.3 interceptions per game for Newcastle so far. [WhoScored.com] Alongside him, captain Jamaal Lascelles should retain his spot with his 5.5 clearances per game [WhoScored.com].

Paul Dummett’s two tackles and five clearances per game keep him in this jam-packed defence, whilst Jetro Willems should remain in the side over Javier Manquillo, who is more of a right-sided full-back.

How would you line up? Join the discussion by commenting below… 

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