With Miguel Almiron’s poor performance on Monday night, his place in the side could be tenuous at the moment. Christian Atsu could be a sound choice to come into the fold against Manchester City on Saturday.
A player who unfortunately will not be available is Matt Ritchie, who has played on the right-wing for most of his career. Matt’s ankle injury has now kept him out of action for three months despite it originally being forecast as two months on the sidelines.
The Chronicle have published some comments Steve Bruce made after the Aston Villa defeat about Ritchie. It does not appear that he is going to be back in the team anytime soon:
“Unfortunately he is not near fitness at the moment.
“He has seen a specialist last week and he said to give him another rest and see if that does it.
“We will see what happens in the next couple of weeks but at the moment he is still not ready to return.”
With Jetro Willems playing so well at left wing-back, Ritchie could be an option back on the right-wing when he gets back from his injury. A Ritchie-Yedlin partnership on the right has worked well for Newcastle in the past when playing in a 4-2-3-1.
It would be interesting to see the partnership in a 3-4-3 with both Ritchie and Yedlin able to play higher up the pitch.
Miguel Almiron is still learning to play on the right having been on the left under Rafa Benitez and as an attacking midfielder at Atlanta united. When asked about Almiron’s best position earlier this year, Bruce said he saw him as an old-fashioned inside forward who can come in from the right and use his left foot on goal.
That describes Ritchie’s best attributes perfectly. Maybe Ritchie is the right-sided forward that can help get Newcastle going. It’s just a shame that he is not an option for the position right now.