If ever there was a time for Steve Bruce to make a bold move in his team selection, it is after the surrender against Leicester City. We think now is the perfect opportunity for Bruce to bring in some fresh faces to hopefully breathe new life into the team.
After last week’s performance, no players should be undroppable. We think Bruce will make a few tough calls in his starting eleven. This is the side we predict will face Manchester United on Sunday.
Steve Bruce has all but admitted that going to a back four last weekend did not work. Martin Dubravka said the same thing in an interview a few days ago. We think that Bruce will revert to a familiar 3-5-3/5-4-1 now that Jetro Willems is available for selection.
In our prediction, there are four changes to the side that started last weekend. DeAndre Yedlin comes into the starting line-up to replace Emil Krafth. Getting the pace of Yedlin into this team makes a lot of sense. With three at the back, it also puts less emphasis on Yedlin’s defensive liabilities.
Matty Longstaff could get his first Premier League start in place of the suspended Isaac Hayden. Bruce mentioned Matty was part of the equation in his press conference this morning. We just have a feeling he will get the nod and start alongside his brother Sean.
Jetro Willems is available after a knee problem kept him out last week. This change pretty much speaks for itself as there are no other options at left wing-back. Due to the formation change, Yoshinori Muto would lose his place.
In what could be a controversial move, we see Allan Saint-Maximin replacing Miguel Almiron on the right-wing. Saint-Maximin has been pushing for a first-team place since returning from injury. Miguel just hasn’t done enough in the final third and we see the Frenchman getting the nod for this game.
Steve Bruce needs to find something to get this team headed in the right direction. We believe that he will be willing to shake up the side in an attempt to do that. Bringing in local lad Matty Longstaff and the electrifying Allan Saint-Maximin could also help liven up the crowd from the start.
With only Florian Lejeune and Matt Ritchie ruled out for selection through injury, there will be competition for places on the bench as well. This is how we see the substitutes bench for Sunday:
Karl Darlow, Emil Krafth, Federico Fernandez, Ki Sung-yueng, Miguel Almiron, Yoshinori Muto, and Andy Carroll
We think it will be too soon for Dwight Gayle and Jonjo Shelvey despite them returning to first-team training. The bench has some decent options with Almiron and Carroll, who can come in late if needed.