We see only one forced change in Steve Bruce’s side for Saturday’s match at Liverpool. Due to Sean Longstaff’s ankle injury, we have Jonjo Shelvey coming into the team in his place. We expect the team’s shape to be reminiscent of the 5-4-1 formation which worked so well at Tottenham.
This fixture, along with Manchester City away are easily the two most daunting of the season. So to get anything out of this match is highly unlikely. While we expect Steve Bruce to bring Jonjo Shelvey on for Longstaff, a better option may be Matty Longstaff. Jonjo doesn’t fare too well in these types of matches where defensive graft and discipline are required.
We could also envision a 5-3-2 formation in which both Matty and Jonjo are deployed in a midfield three. That however, would likely mean that Christian Atsu would not get the start. We just don’t think Bruce will leave Christian out of the starting eleven as he has played so well this season.
The bench will again have limited options in attack as has been the case for each game this season. We also have Matty Longstaff making the match-day squad:
Karl Darlow, Ciaran Clark, Federico Fernandez, Javier Manquillo, Matty Longstaff, Ki Sung-yueng, and Yoshinori Muto.
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