Eddie Howe's Newcastle United selection dilemmas for Tottenham with four potential changes to be made
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).
After naming a reasonably consistent starting line-up for the majority of Newcastle’s nine game unbeaten run, Howe was forced to make changes for the matches at Chelsea and Everton ahead of the international break.
Kieran Trippier and Callum Wilson are still ruled out for the trip to Spurs next weekend, but could be back playing by the end of April.
And Newcastle will be handed a welcome boost with Allan Saint-Maximin and Jonjo Shelvey both back in contention to start at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Should Saint-Maximin start for the first time since February 13, it is likely that Jacob Murphy will drop back to the bench in his place. But Shelvey’s re-introduction would be slightly more complicated.
Shelvey was part of a successful midfield three alongside Joelinton and Joe Willock during the unbeaten run. In fact, Shelvey played every minute of the streak and hasn’t featured in a losing Newcastle side in the Premier League since the 3-1 defeat at Liverpool in which he scored back in December.
The three matches the 30-year-old hasn't played under Howe, Newcastle have been beaten in all three, conceding six goals without reply.
But with Bruno Guimaraes seizing his opportunity since being introduced to the side, Howe faces a difficult decision in selecting his midfield three.
Guimaraes is currently away with Brazil and is set to face Bolivia on Wednesday morning (UK time) before returning to Newcastle later in the week.
The playing, travelling and resulting jet-lag could see Howe favour Shelvey in place of the January signing.
While the international break and trip to Dubai has helped some Newcastle players recover, it has also taken its toll on others. Fabian Schar was sent home from international duty with Switzerland with a groin problem. Schar’s potential absence would see captain Jamaal Lascelles reinstated to the side for the Spurs match.
Martin Dubravka has also reportedly withdrawn from Slovakia’s squad after being diagnosed with tonsillitis and on a course of antibiotics.