Steve Bruce has some tough decisions to make for his team on Saturday. With Newcastle now having two games under their belt in the new system while making six changes for West Brom, there could be some very disappointed Magpies come Saturday afternoon.
His most difficult selection could be between Matt Ritchie and Valentino Lazaro on the right wing. Ritchie got the nod at Burnley with Lazaro out due to suspension. The 30-year-old started the match rather chaotically but grew into the game, becoming our primary threat late.
Valentino got his first start in an advanced role in the FA Cup win on Tuesday. The 23-year-old put in a very composed display. His off the ball movement was excellent as he was able to bag his first Newcastle goal.
Both players offer different qualities in the role, so a lot will depend on what Bruce hopes to accomplish from the position. Ritchie, of course, has been with the club for years and is one of our vocal leaders. His passion on the pitch is unrivaled.
He’s also left-footed and offers a different type of threat up the pitch than the right-footed Austrian.
Valentino Lazaro is the more skillful of the two. The loanee is blessed with pace along with an ability to beat his man that Ritchie just doesn’t possess.
Lazaro has also shown in his short time on Tyneside some impressive leadership qualities. He’s been a constant presence in the media and seems to really be enjoying his time at Newcastle.
Here he is with the Newcastle fans after Tuesday’s win.
"See you back in the Toon!"
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) March 4, 2020
It will be interesting to see who Bruce goes with on Saturday. Ritchie is probably the safe bet. However, Bruce has recently gone less conservative, so he may opt for his new signing. After all, that’s what Lazaro was brought here for.
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