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Verdict: 51-cap int'l to take place on the bench - Predicted Newcastle XI v Sheffield United

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OPINION

Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce is likely to stick with an unchanged starting line-up for Thursday’s tough away trip to Sheffield United.

Bramall Lane is a tricky place to go, with Chris Wilder having got his side firing on all cylinders in the Premier League. However, the Magpies will be confident after Saturday’s draw with Manchester City.

Indeed, Bruce is almost certain to stick with the same team that secured that 2-2 draw with the champions, which means that 51-cap Switzerland international Fabian Schar is likely to take his place on the bench once again.

It’s simply too difficult for Bruce to change a defence that’s performing very well right now. He’ll be confident that his team can go and get a result on Thursday.

Martin Dubravka showed his class once again against City, pulling off a number of fine saves to enable the Magpies to get a point from the game. He can expect to start once again here.

Meanwhile, Javier Manquillo underlined his starting credentials at right wing-back by (mostly) shackling Raheem Sterling on Saturday. He will likely start again against the Blades. On the opposite side of the defence, Jetro Willems looks a sure-fire starter.

As mentioned, not even the superlative Schar can break this three-man central defensive unit at the moment. Federico Fernandez, Ciaran Clark and Paul Dummett will surely all start on Thursday.

The middle of midfield pretty much picks itself after the way these two men performed against Pep Guardiola’s side. Isaac Hayden and Jonjo Shelvey will almost certainly keep their places.

Out wide, Miguel Almiron finally got an assist, while Allan Saint-Maximin continued to terrorise the opposition. Both men will likely start in support of lone frontman Joelinton.




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