Following the proposed takeover of the club by the Saudi-led consortium last week, Newcastle United will play its first game against Tottenham Hotspur at St James’ Park on Sunday in front of the new owners hoping to get their first win of the Premier League season.
The Magpies have had a woeful start to the season and sit 19th on the table. They were beaten 2-1 by Wolves at Molineux before the international break that piled more misery on Steve Bruce.
Steve Bruce, who had been expected to be sacked this week following the club’s takeover, will take charge of his 1,000th game as a manager on Sunday and look to repay the new owners’ faith in him.
Steve Bruce has been handed a massive triple injury boost ahead of the Tottenham clash with Jamaal Lascelles, Jonjo Shelvey and Callum Wilson all fit to feature after spells on the sidelines. This means only goalkeeper Martin Dubravka (foot) and defender Paul Dummett (calf) remain on the treatment table.
Newcastle are desperately looking for a clean sheet having conceded 16 goals in seven games so far. Karl Darlow will need to put in an inspired performance in goal if the Magpies are to get a positive result against Spurs.
The Newcastle backline has been porous with none of the defenders performing consistently. Jamaal Lascelles’ return from injury is a big plus and he’ll have to marshal his troops well on Sunday. Ciaran Clark could be given the nod ahead of Federico Fernandez to partner Lascelles in central defence.
Both full-backs Javier Manquillo and Matt Ritchie have to be at their best defensively to keep the Spurs attackers at bay on Sunday.
The injury return of Jonjo Shelvey gives the Newcastle midfield a different dynamic. With Isaac Hayden beside him in the engine room, the Englishman can dictate the tempo of the game with his distribution skills and give headaches to the opposition.
Joe Willock’s eye for a pass, energy and late surging runs in the box could be key in unlocking the Tottenham backline. The former Arsenal man will be raring to hurt the north London club on Sunday. Meanwhile, Jeff Hendrick and Ryan Fraser will be decent options to have on the bench.
Back to full fitness, Callum Wilson gives the Toon Army’s attack the sharpness in the final third they’ve lacked since his injury. He’ll be eager to mark his return against Nuno’s side with a goal.
Wilson’s finishing skills in front of goal combined with the pace, guile and dribbling skills of Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin will make Newcastle potent going forward, as Bruce looks for a win in the 1,000th game of his managerial career.
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