Steve Bruce names seven Newcastle United players who will face Blackburn Rovers

Steve Bruce has all but named his Newcastle United starting XI for tonight’s Carabao Cup tie.

Bruce’s side take on Blackburn Rovers in the second round of the competition, and Bruce named seven players, many of whom were starting regularly last season, who will play against the Championship club.

Newcastle were knocked out at the same stage last season by Leicester City, but went on to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

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The club has prioritised the Premier League under Mike Ashley’s ownership, though head coach Bruce insists he’s free to attack the cup competitions.

Asked if he had had conversations with the club’s hierarchy about his approach to the cups, Bruce said: “I had a conversation last year, but I haven't had this year.

"I’ll rotate, but when I look at the squad, and the players we've got coming into it … Joelinton will play, (Miguel) Almiron will play, Ryan Fraser will play, Matt Ritchie will play, (Sean) Longstaff will play, Ciaran Clark will come back into the team, Emil Krafth, who is a Swedish international, will play.

"When I look at the players that we've got who need to go and play, yes, I will be making changes, but I'm not changing my philosophy. It would be great to have another cup run. Why not?”

On his team selection, Bruce added: “I will make changes.

Miguel Almiron.Miguel Almiron.
Miguel Almiron.
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"When I looked behind me on Saturday, there’s seven of them sitting there, probably five or six of them might have started last year. So I’ve got a much stronger squad.”