Verdict: 20-cap int’l set for axe after Anfield shocker – Predicted Newcastle XI v Brighton

OPINION

United head coach Steve Bruce is expected to wield the axe on Magpies right wing back Emil Krafth for Saturday’s clash with Brighton & Hove Albion.

The 20-cap Sweden international had a shocker against Liverpool at Anfield last time and, after a tough start to life in English football in general, he’ll likely miss out against the Seagulls.

Instead, old reliable Javier Manquillo will surely get the nod on the right hand side of the defence. The Spaniard is an underrated player and will invariably deliver a solid performance on Saturday.

That will most probably be the only change that Bruce makes from last weekend’s 3-1 defeat to the league-leading Reds, mostly due to a lack of available alternatives.

In goal, Martin Dubravka has once again come under fire for his clanger against Jurgen Klopp’s team. The Slovakian made an error for Sadio Mane’s second goal last time out, but is still way ahead of deputy Karl Darlow and will likely start again here.

As mentioned, Manquillo can expect to replace Krafth on the right of the defence, while Jetro Willems will surely continue on the left after netting against Liverpool.

The three-man central defensive unit will probably remain unchanged as well, with Fabian Schar, Jamaal Lascelles and Paul Dummett all shoe-ins to start.

Sean Longstaff’s continued absence through injury will likely see Jonjo Shelvey continue alongside stalwart Isaac Hayden in the middle of the park. Meanwhile, Miguel Almiron and Christian Atsu will surely keep their places on the wings, for a lack of better options more than anything else.

The same goes for club record signing Joelinton, who has failed to convince up front. However, Bruce is short-staffed in that area, and so the Brazilian can expect to maintain his starting spot at the head of the Magpies’ attack.

This article was originally posted here