The Newcastle United Blog | Howe makes three changes to our planned NUFC squad for Chelsea

This is the team I predict Eddie Howe will name for tomorrow’s game at Chelsea. He has three changes since the 2-1 win at Southampton.

Howe admitted he had a very tired dressing room after the battle at St Mary’s so he could rotate his side to Stamford Bridge. With Fabian Schar suffering from a tight groin, it might be time to rest the 30-something.

If so, Jamaal Lascelles could get his first start since the win over Everton. He was sick against Aston Villa and it’s been Dan Burn and Schar ever since. The pair have been exceptional, so Lascelles will have to be at the top of their game.

Emil Krafth gave it his all in the midweek win. He was sent off late with a facial injury. With just three days to recover, the Swede might also need a break with Javier Manquillo more than capable of coming in at right-back.

The other change is Joelinton’s return after missing a groin injury on Thursday. Bruno Guimaraes got his first start in Big Joe’s absence. His injury is not serious and with more than a week since his last start, he could be back in the team tomorrow.

This is a selection problem for Howe. Bruno didn’t hurt his chances of a second start on his full debut at St Mary’s. It will be hard to drop Jonjo Shelvey but an away clash at Chelsea doesn’t quite match his skill set.

I expect Allan Saint-Maximin to be available but not initially. He lacks match sharpness after his recent calf problem. Ryan Fraser filled in superbly on the left. While Fraser could be given a break, he could start with Allan in the second half, if available.

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