Miguel Almiron has started all sixteen games for Newcastle this season and is a major factor in how the team plays. With Allan Saint-Maximin ruled out for up to six weeks per Steve Bruce’s press conference, it would be a major blow if Almiron were to suffer the same type of injury.
The news this morning is that the 25-year-old has picked up a slight hamstring problem. He will be assessed before tomorrow’s match at Burnley.
However at today’s press conference, Steve Bruce made it clear that he will not risk the Paraguayan if there is any doubt as to his fitness. He also gave a possible hint to his plans if Almiron is a no go for tomorrow.
SB on Joelinton playing wide: “It’s something we’re toying with. He’s played half his career there for his previous club so he’s no stranger to it. It may be a different formation, it’s something we have up our sleeve. It might give him a big lift as well.” pic.twitter.com/TU7dGAYI6r
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) December 13, 2019
We are not surprised that Bruce is expressing caution in terms of Almiron’s availability for tomorrow. He’s just heard that his star winger Allan Saint-Maximin could be out for at least the next seven matches.
Bruce again stated today that he is kicking himself over the Frenchman’s injury. Saint-Maximin was suffering from an ankle problem after the Sheffield United win so Bruce may feel a little remorseful that he kept him in for over 90 minutes last weekend.
The Saint-Maximin injury is likely to play a part in Bruce’s decision on Almiron. With Miguel having a problem with his hamstring, it may be best to rest him and not risk losing him for any length of time.
The question is what does Bruce do if Miguel can’t make it tomorrow. Well Bruce has given a big hint with his comments on Joelinton.
He has spoken about using the Brazilian out wide twice in the past few months. The interesting parts of his comment are about a formation change and about Joelinton’s confidence.
Bruce reckons a change in role could be a boost for the 23-year-old. However, he can’t play in the same role as Allan Saint-Maximin or Miguel Almiron so Bruce would have to tweak the tactics to get Joelinton and Andy Carroll on the pitch together, which we assume would be his aim.
It’s shaping up to be a very interesting trip to Turf Moor tomorrow. We’re completely at a loss as to what to expect. With so many changes and playing against a Burnley team that needs to redeem themselves, this could be a very tough match to get something from.
Then again, maybe the trick up Bruce’s sleeve could turn out to work like magic. We hope so at least.
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