Newcastle United v Chelsea: Steve Bruce hopes this key man can replicate Miguel Almiron's form

Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce is hopeful striker Joelinton can replicate Miguel Almiron’s goalscoring form after he scored in Tuesday’s 4-1 victory over Rochdale in the FA Cup.

Saturday, 18th January 2020, 12:00 pm
Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce.

The £40million summer signing scored his first in 20 games and only his second of the season with a tap-in from close range on the end of youngster Tom Allan’s cross on Tuesday night.

Bruce said: “As I said the other night, if you compared the first five minutes of the game to the last five minutes, you could see that little bit of weight taken off his shoulders.

“That’s certainly been the case in training.

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“We’re all delighted for him – he’s had a tough time. Hopefully, a bit like Almirón, when everyone kept asking me when he was going to score, the same thing will happen with Joe,” added Bruce ahead of the Saturday teatime clash.

The Magpies face a much tougher test tomorrow teatime in Frank Lampard’s Chelsea, and are still ravaged by injury problems with seven players out.

Chelsea on the other hand have no new injury concerns, and left-back Marcos Alonso could return.

However, N’Golo Kante is being monitored for a hamstring injury and Christian Pulisic remains out.

Bruce’s men will be hoping to keep themselves away from the drop zone with a win tomorrow, as a defeat could see them just two points above the drop zone if results don’t go their way.

Chelsea will remain fourth regardless of the weekend’s results, as they’re six points off third and five points above Manchester United in fifth.

Lampard could revert to a 4-2-3-1 formation which they’ve set up in two of their last five games, or they could return to a 3-4-2-1 formation.

Newcastle have played a variety of formations over the past few games, but 5-4-1 is their most likely one.

Chelsea, who remain unbeaten in 2020 and in their last four games, will be hoping to keep the momentum going ahead of Saturday’s game which starts at 5:30pm.