Howe drops Wilson, “outstanding talent” unleashed in 3 changes: Predicted Newcastle XI – opinion

Newcastle United will head to the Etihad Stadium this lunchtime for their Premier League clash with Manchester City and Eddie Howe will be hoping his team can leave the disappointment from last weekend behind them to focus on their impressive top-flight campaign.

The Magpies are currently fifth in the league table and are four points behind Tottenham Hotspur inside the top four, so taking all three points from their difficult outing against Pep Guardiola’s side will be crucial in their ambitious efforts to secure Champions League football at the end of the season.

In terms of injuries, there are no new concerns with only Emile Krafth unavailable for selection, however, Howe has had a major boost with Nick Pope returning after serving his one-match ban following a red card suspension during the clash with Liverpool.

What could Newcastle’s XI look like against Manchester City?

Nick Pope (GK); Kieran Trippier (RB), Fabian Schar (CB), Sven Botman (CB), Matt Targett (LB); Bruno Guimaraes (CM), Joelinton (CM), Sean Longstaff (CM); Allan Saint-Maximin (LW), Alexander Isak (ST), Miguel Almiron (RW)

We predict that the Newcastle manager will make three changes to the team that lost to Manchester United at the weekend, maintaining the 4-3-3 formation.

The first change we expect is Pope’s instant reprisal of his role in goal following his suspension, having started all 23 of their league matches, and we predict that he will be joined by a second change with Matt Targett replacing Dan Burn in the left-back position to complete an otherwise unchanged defensive set up.

In the final, the former Brighton defender was given a dismal Sofascore rating of 5.7 – the lowest on the pitch – and that could tempt Howe into making a switch in that position.

Again, in midfield we expect there to be no changes to the team with Bruno Guimaraes, Joelinton, and Sean Longstaff a much-trusted trio by Howe and the likeliest setup in the centre of the pitch.

The third and final change we expect to see is Callum Wilson losing his spot in the forward line with Alexander Isak replacing him in the striker role for the clash.

The 23-year-old Swedish striker – hailed an “outstanding talent” by Howe – has only started five Premier League games since his arrival last summer, however, following Wilson’s run of one goal in 13 matches in all competitions, Isak could be given the opportunity to prove exactly why he should be starting for Newcastle over his positional peer.


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