Newcastle will face Newport County this afternoon for a place in the quarterfinals of the Carabao Cup. We’ve been extremely fortunate with the draws thus far. However, if the lads get the job done at Newport, the level of competition will certainly rise for the next round.
Spurs knocked Chelsea out in a penalty shootout yesterday while Liverpool battle Arsenal on Thursday. That will take out two of the big boys but there’s still eight Premier League and two Championship clubs left in the competition.
This afternoon will provide another big opportunity for some unsung Magpies to impress. Mark Gillespie has been stellar so far with two clean sheets including an outstanding performance on his debut against Blackburn.
Jacob Murphy was unplayable last week at Morecambe and he’ll get another shot today. He was a bit tentative when he came on at Spurs on Sunday but we expect him to be full of confidence against the Exiles.
Dan Barlaser could get another chance today. He started the match against Blackburn and was brought on as a substitute at Morecambe. Barlaser’s time at Newcastle could be running out so this match could be a final chance to stake his claim.
Sean Longstaff and Emil Krafth have started both Carabao Cup matches but have not featured much in the league. Longstaff made a very late cameo at West Ham while Krafth hasn’t been used yet.
Both are firmly entrenched as back-ups currently but will get their chances during this long season. Krafth was asked to play center half against Blackburn and could be asked to play there once again today with so many defenders unavailable.
Longstaff has yet to get a chance to play further forward as a number 10 where he had his best performances last season. There’s an outside chance he could be deployed there today but he’s more likely to play deeper in midfield like the last two cup matches.
With Bruce settling in on a first eleven for the Premier League, the performances of these five Magpies could be key today in Newcastle advancing to a cup quarterfinal for a second season running.