The early departures of both Fabian Schar and Joelinton on Saturday have seen Eddie Howe’s injury-ravaged squad list impacted even further – but two defensive updates in the game may give The Magpies fresh hope.
Whether or not Howe would have hoped to rotate as heavily as he has in the previous two rounds of the Carabao Cup, with the Geordie boys now in the quarter-final and just three matches from a return to Wembley, he may not have been given much choice other than to start a strong xi.
Newcastle are yet to concede in the competition this season, with Nick Pope and Martin Dúbravka taking turns in between the sticks. The Englishman suffering a shoulder earlier in the month means it is likely the latter gets the nod.
Whether this offers an opportunity for Loris Karius to make his return after not featuring since last season’s Carabao Cup final is a murmur on the lips, it is expected that the Slovakian shotstopper starts.
The unfortunate injury of Schar was able to be taken with ever so slight positives on Saturday as the return of goal scorer Dan Burn to the starting line-up, and Sven Botman to the bench, bolster Howe’s options coming into this.
Kieran Trippier remains a doubt, though it is a race against time as to whether or not he will feature on Tuesday night. Tino Livramento has deputised well with injuries across the back line, with some arguing he has done enough to hold down a first team spot full-time.
The young full-back, who has played every Carabao Cup minute so far, may be in need of a rest after starting the last seven in all competitions allowing the reliable Emil Krafth a start.
As the only fit right-footed centre back, club captain Jamaal Lascelles is likely to start, but who joins him is a toss-up between Botman and Paul Dummett. The latter has started both games in the competition this season, and with Botman’s fitness concerns it would be little surprise to see him feature from the off again.
Burn, as well as his start against Fulham on Saturday, picked up minutes off the bench against AC Milan and faces competition from little other than Lewis Hall, who received special dispensation to play against his former club.
The Cobham graduate, however, may fit into the midfield in the absence of Joelinton with choices few and far between in the middle. Sean Longstaff got his first full 90 since his return on the weekend, and the midfield three will be rounded out by either Bruno Guimarães or Lewis Miley.
Bruno is yet to start a Carabao Cup game this season, and has played full 90s in all seven games since returning from his suspension served against Bournemouth. 17-year-old Miley was handed a rest against Fulham, indicating he may have been in Howe’s plans for tonight, but Joelinton’s first-half injury gave the breakout star a good chance to continue to show his talent – scoring the opener in the second-half.
With Alexander Isak remaining a doubt, the widespread belief is that the weekend’s front three of Miguel Almirón, Callum Wilson and Anthony Gordon will remain as it is – though this is expected to remain the same, Howe has previously experimented with adding Matt Ritchie into the attack.
Predicted Newcastle lineup: Dúbravka; Krafth, Lascelles, Dummett, Burn; Miley, Longstaff, Hall; Almirón, Wilson, Gordon