If ever there was a match to gauge where Newcastle really stand this season, it’s Tuesday’s trip to Bramall Lane to take on Sheffield United. While Newcastle have had a very disappointing campaign, it pales in comparison to Sheffield, who finished 9th last season.
The Blades have not come out on top in any of their 17 league matches and are currently on just 2 points. They sit at the bottom of the table and have scored just 8 goals. In comparison, anemic Newcastle have more than doubled that total with 18 goals scored.
Newcastle stretched their winless streak to 7 with the defeat at Arsenal in the FA Cup on Saturday. Sheffield actually tasted victory for the first time this season by defeating League One’s Bristol Rovers in the FA Cup. Hopefully, the Blades haven’t turned a corner.
The Magpies won both fixtures against Sheffield last season. The 2-0 win at Bramall Lane was Andy Carroll’s first start in his second stint with his hometown club.
Bruce made seven changes at Arsenal allowing some key players to get a needed break. Though we are waiting on the availability of Callum Wilson and Jonjo Shelvey, who were sent home after making the trip to the Emirates.
There will also be questions on the availability of Ryan Fraser, who has returned to full training last week. Jamaal Lascelles only lasted a half on Saturday after making his return from Covid. Andy Carroll probably shouldn’t be risked with only a few days to recover after starting on Saturday.
Bruce will still have plenty of options and will hopefully be able to field a team to get all three points on Tuesday. This is an extremely important match that the lads have to pick up a result in.