Steve Bruce drops early hint on his Newcastle United starting XI for Everton

Jacob Murphy will keep his place against Everton – if Steve Bruce sticks with a five-man defence.

Jacob Murphy celebrates his goal at Molineux.
Jacob Murphy celebrates his goal at Molineux.

Murphy earned a point for Newcastle United last weekend with a stunning free-kick against Wolverhampton Wanderers on what was his first Premier League appearance for the club in almost two years.

The 25-year-old winger was fielded as a right wing-back by Bruce in the behind-closed-doors game, which ended 1-1.

And Murphy – who played in that position for loan club Sheffield Wednesday last season – will start against Everton if Bruce again fields a five-man defence.

“I don’t think I could leave him out if I play that way again,” said head coach Bruce, who could be without captain Jamaal Lascelles. “That would be drastically unfair. We’ve put him in because of what he’s done in the cup, and what he’s done in training, and he didn’t disappoint at all last week. If we play that way, then, yes, he will play.”

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