Newcastle United's defence is 'pure banter' but starting XI 'better than expected' – fans react to Steve Bruce & the Magpies' COVID absentees

Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce has sent out a patched up Magpies side for his players’ return to Premier League action this afternoon – and fans have mixed feelings about it.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 27: Steve Bruce, Manager of Newcastle United speaks with Jonjo Shelvey and Sean Longstaff of Newcastle United following the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Newcastle United at Selhurst Park on November 27, 2020 in London, England.
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 27: Steve Bruce, Manager of Newcastle United speaks with Jonjo Shelvey and Sean Longstaff of Newcastle United following the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Newcastle United at Selhurst Park on November 27, 2020 in London, England.

Three of United’s possible first-choice back four options in Jamaal Lascelles, Federico Fernandez and Javier Manquillo are missing against West Brom, leaving Isaac Hayden to slot into the back four alongside Ciaran Clark.

Allan Saint-Maximin is another notable absentee from the squad.

Here’s how United fans reacted to the team news on Twitter...

@Jordan_Riches – “Up the Covid Mags x #NUFC”

@AllanBrough – “Considering the Covid-19 outbreak we’ve had I don’t think that’s too bad a team he’s put out.”

@omatkinson - “A good team, considering the circumstances.”

@toontastic – “Ouch I hope we aren't planning on relying on our defence today #nufc for once attack attack attack.”

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@asabart14 – “Ritchie delivering in box to Wilson and Linton come on Newcastle.”

@rbturkey – “That defence is pure banter.”