Newcastle United have looked very good since Project Restart. Just one loss in five games is not a bad record at all and Steve Bruce deserves credit for what he has achieved this season.
The former Sunderland boss didn’t quite get the welcome that he would have liked. Magpies supporters were still upset over Rafa Benitez’s departure and most of them felt that Bruce couldn’t do as good a job as the Spaniard.
However, the current Newcastle boss has done extremely well. The Magpies are just two points behind their total tally from last season. With five games still to play, they are almost guaranteed to surpass that, which makes it a better season for the club under Bruce than it was last term under Benitez.
Newcastle will have to continue their good form but Bruce has some difficulties. The Magpies face Manchester City tomorrow and, if that wasn’t a tough enough task for them, they might be without four key players.
“Unfortunately we’ve picked up one or two (injuries). Almiron and Saint-Maximin, in particular, are struggling. Andy Carroll picked up a groin strain. Jamaal Lascelles has a sore ankle so we have a few,” Bruce said as quoted by the club’s official Twitter handle.
Huge blow for the Magpies
Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin will be huge losses for Newcastle if they cannot be fit in the next 24 hours.
The Paraguayan has been brilliant this season having scored eight goals in all competitions. Saint-Maximin, on the other hand, has been Newcastle’s best player.
The Frenchman has been directly involved in 11 goals in all competitions and, without him, Newcastle will lack their attacking edge.
Lascelles has missed 10 league games due to a knee problem already this season. The defender is a real leader at the back for the Magpies and his absence would certainly weaken the squad.
Carroll could have been a brilliant option for Newcastle off the bench. City’s defenders have had their issues this season and a player like Carroll is a nuisance to any team, especially in set-piece situations.
Southampton recently proved that Manchester City are beatable. Newcastle came close to securing all three points against the former champions earlier in the season but they succumbed to a 2-0 defeat in the FA Cup just a few weeks ago.
Newcastle would certainly love to get something out of this game but, with four players potentially out, it will be a lot more difficult than it was supposed to be.