Allan Saint-Maximin made his return to the team on Saturday after missing the previous six matches. It was a stretch of games Newcastle only amassed 4 points from with a win against Crystal Palace and a draw at Wolves.
The Crystal Palace win was the first win of the season in which Allan Saint-Maximin didn’t start the match. For all of Newcastle’s seven other wins, Allan was in the starting eleven.
Our record when the 22-year-old is on from the start, is just outstanding. We’ve won 7, lost 2, and drawn 2 for 23 points. While we’ve won only 1, lost 8, and drawn 3 for just 6 points in games Allan has not played in or come on as a late substitute.
While that is slightly skewed because Allan did start the win at Spurs but was forced off with his first serious hamstring injury after only 15 minutes.
However, his presence in the team undeniably makes Newcastle a better side. Which is why Bruce will have a tough decision to make this evening on whether to start the Frenchman on just three days of rest.
With the FA Cup against League One’s Oxford looming on Saturday, that’ll be a game Allan can be rested for. We think Bruce will roll the dice once again and start him today at Everton.
Bruce will be well aware that having the enigmatic winger on the pitch gives this team the best chance of getting 3 points.