Eddie Howe will have a few selection dilemmas when Newcastle United return to Premier League action at Tottenham Hotspur next Sunday (5:30pm kick-off).
Howe was obliged to make changes for the games against Chelsea and Everton ahead of the international break after choosing a fairly consistent starting line-up for the most of Newcastle’s nine-game unbeaten run.
Kieran Trippier and Callum Wilson are remain sidelined for next weekend’s trip to Tottenham Hotspur, although they might be back in action by the end of April.
Allan Saint-Maximin and Jonjo Shelvey are both back in contention to start at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, which will be a great boost for Newcastle.
If Saint-Maximin makes his first start since February 13, Jacob Murphy is expected to return to the bench in his stead. However, Shelvey’s reintroduction would be a little more difficult.
During the unbeaten run, Shelvey was part of a successful midfield trio that included Joelinton and Joe Willock. Shelvey played every minute of the run, and he hasn’t appeared in a losing Newcastle side in the Premier League since scoring in a 3-1 loss at Liverpool in December.
Newcastle have lost all three games in which the 30-year-old has not featured under Howe, allowing six goals without reply.
However, with Bruno Guimaraes making the most of his opportunity since joining the team, Howe will have to make a difficult decision in picking his midfield three.
Guimaraes is now with Brazil and will play Bolivia on Wednesday AM (UK time) before returning to Newcastle later that week.
Because of the playing, traveling, and resulting jet lag, Howe may choose Shelvey over the January signing.
While the international break and trip to Dubai aided the recovery of some Newcastle players, it also had an impact on others. Emil Krafth was strangely absent from Sweden’s 1-0 triumph against Czech Republic, and Fabian Schar was called home from international duties with Switzerland due to a groin problem.
If needed, Javier Manquillo would replace Krafth, while captain Jamaal Lascelles would be reinstated due to Schar’s possible absence.
Martin Dubravka is also said to have pulled out of Slovakia’s squad after being diagnosed with angina, a cardiac illness that causes blood supply to the heart muscles to be restricted. On Sunday, it’s unknown whether he’ll play.
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