The Athletic’s Chris Waugh expects to see Jonjo Shelvey and Chris Wood start tonight for Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup.
Eddie Howe and Newcastle fans will have been holding their breath on Sunday afternoon when Callum Wilson failed to emerge for the second half at the weekend, although it has now emerged that he was replaced because of illness. However, that will likely keep him out for tonight’s clash as there appears no need to risk him.
This is because Wood has proved that while he isn’t necessarily near Wilson’s level given their respective records in a Newcastle shirt, he’s good enough to play as a backup having netted against Southampton on Sunday and scored in one of his two starts this season in the previous round of the EFL Cup.
Waugh has claimed on Pod on the Tyne that the New Zealand international will play against Crystal Palace – but that’s not the only change he’s now hinted at, with long-term absentee Shelvey also tipped to start.
He said: “I’ve had a suggestion from our Crystal Palace writer that Palace may be putting out a team full of kids as well, so therefore, given Newcastle’s ambitions – as we know, Eddie Howe has already said they’re going to target the cups, and now they have the opportunity to do so, I wouldn’t think they’d [Palace] fancy coming here at all at this stage.
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“It will be interesting to see what Newcastle team he puts out. I think we’re likely to see a few changes – maybe Jonjo Shelvey might start, maybe Chris Wood, particularly given that Callum Wilson went off with illness [against Southampton].”
TIF Thoughts on Howe’s potential team selection…
It will be a fine balancing act for Howe this evening as he looks to afford his regular first-teamers a rare rest without changing too many things that could disrupt the rhythm and momentum his side have managed to establish.
While Newcastle’s record in the League Cup has been rather horrid over the years, Howe has not hidden away from the fact he wishes to win some silverware with the Magpies, and with them sitting comfortably in third and at no threat of relegation, this could be the perfect time to go for the cup competitions.
With a potential top-four decider to come on Saturday at St James’ Park against Chelsea, Howe will likely look to rest players such as Wilson and Bruno Guimaraes who’ve played a lot of football and will have the World Cup on their minds, and we feel that replacing them with Wood and Shelvey, who have got boatloads of top-flight experience, won’t likely see the Magpies falter in terms of performance.