Newcastle United’s Starting XI A Tactical Breakdown

Newcastle United has been the talk of the Premier League this season, with their impressive performances and climb up the table. The Magpies' starting lineup has been a significant factor in their success, and fans and analysts alike have been eager to dissect the tactics and player roles that have contributed to their rise.

Predicted Lineup: Newcastle's Key Players and Formations

Newcastle United

Key Players

  • Goalkeeper: Nick Pope has been a revelation since joining from Burnley, providing a solid last line of defense and commanding the backline.
  • Defenders: Sven Botman and Fabian Schär have formed a formidable central defensive partnership, while Kieran Trippier and Dan Burn have been influential on the flanks.
  • Midfielders: Bruno Guimarães has been the driving force in the middle of the park, with Joelinton and Sean Longstaff providing energy and defensive solidity.
  • Forwards: Miguel Almirón and Allan Saint-Maximin have been the creative sparks, with Callum Wilson leading the line as the team's primary goal threat.


  • 4-3-3: Newcastle has often utilized a 4-3-3 formation, with the midfield trio providing a solid foundation for the attacking players to flourish.
  • 4-2-3-1: In some matches, the Magpies have deployed a 4-2-3-1 system, allowing for a more compact defensive shape while still maintaining a potent attack.
  • 5-3-2: On occasion, Eddie Howe has opted for a 5-3-2 formation, utilizing the wing-backs to provide width and support the two strikers.

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Newcastle's Starting XI: Strengths and Weaknesses

Newcastle United


  • Defensive Solidity: The Magpies have one of the stingiest defenses in the league, with the central defensive partnership of Botman and Schär leading the way.
  • Midfield Control: Bruno Guimarães' influence in the middle of the park has been crucial, as he dictates the tempo and distribution of the team.
  • Attacking Threat: With players like Almirón, Saint-Maximin, and Wilson, Newcastle possess a formidable attacking lineup that can punish opponents.


  • Depth: While the starting XI is strong, Newcastle's squad depth has been tested at times, with injuries and suspensions causing some disruption.
  • Set-piece Vulnerability: The team has occasionally struggled to defend set-pieces, an area that could be exploited by opposing teams.
  • Reliance on Individual Brilliance: The Magpies' attacking success has often hinged on the individual moments of brilliance from players like Saint-Maximin, which can be inconsistent.

Who Makes the Newcastle Lineup: Recent Form and Injury Updates

Newcastle United

Recent Form

  • Key Performers: Guimarães, Almirón, and Trippier have been in exceptional form, consistently delivering match-winning performances.
  • Inconsistent Performers: Saint-Maximin and Wilson have shown glimpses of their quality, but have been slightly inconsistent in their contributions.
  • Emerging Talents: Sven Botman and Joelinton have established themselves as integral parts of the starting XI, showcasing their growth and development.

Injury Updates

  • Long-Term Absentees: Jonjo Shelvey and Martin Dubravka have been sidelined for extended periods, testing the squad's depth.
  • Short-Term Concerns: Callum Wilson's recent injury has raised concerns, and his fitness will be closely monitored in the lead-up to upcoming matches.
  • Returning Players: The potential return of players like Allan Saint-Maximin and Bruno Guimarães from minor injuries could be a significant boost for Newcastle.

Newcastle's Ideal Lineup: Assessing Player Roles and Chemistry

Ideal Starting XI

  • Goalkeeper: Nick Pope
  • Defenders: Kieran Trippier, Sven Botman, Fabian Schär, Dan Burn
  • Midfielders: Bruno Guimarães, Joelinton, Sean Longstaff
  • Forwards: Miguel Almirón, Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin

Player Roles and Chemistry

  • Defensive Solidity: The central defensive partnership of Botman and Schär, complemented by the wing-back duo of Trippier and Burn, provide a solid foundation for the team.
  • Midfield Control: Guimarães' ability to dictate the tempo, combined with Joelinton's energy and Longstaff's defensive awareness, gives Newcastle control in the middle of the park.
  • Attacking Dynamism: Almirón's creativity, Wilson's goal-scoring prowess, and Saint-Maximin's individual brilliance create a potent attacking trio capable of unlocking opposing defenses.

Chemistry and Cohesion

  • Established Partnerships: The starting XI features several well-established partnerships, such as Botman-Schär and Guimarães-Joelinton, which have contributed to the team's overall chemistry and understanding.
  • Adaptability: The versatility of players like Joelinton and Longstaff, who can effectively play in different midfield roles, allows the team to adapt and adjust their tactics as needed.
  • Collective Effort: The starting XI demonstrates a collective commitment to the team's defensive and offensive responsibilities, with players tracking back and supporting each other in both phases of the game.

Newcastle's Lineup Evolution: A Look at Key Changes

Early-Season Lineup

  • Formation: 4-3-3
  • Key Changes: Sven Botman's integration into the starting XI, the emergence of Joelinton as a box-to-box midfielder, and the consistent performances of Trippier and Burn.

Mid-Season Adjustments

  • Formation: 4-2-3-1
  • Key Changes: The introduction of Elliot Anderson as an impact substitute, the increased involvement of Almiron in the attacking phase, and the management of injuries to key players.

Current Lineup

  • Formation: 5-3-2
  • Key Changes: The shift to a more compact defensive structure, the utilization of Joelinton in a deeper midfield role, and the integration of Alexander Isak as a second striker.

Tactical Adaptations

  • Versatility: Eddie Howe's willingness to adjust the team's formation and player roles has been a key factor in their success, allowing the Magpies to adapt to the specific challenges posed by their opponents.
  • Injury Management: The Newcastle manager has effectively managed the squad's depth, ensuring that the team maintains its high level of performance despite dealing with various injury concerns.
  • Player Development: The progression of players like Joelinton, Almiron, and Botman has been a testament to the coaching staff's ability to nurture and develop talent within the squad.

The Newcastle Lineup: A Comparison to Previous Seasons

2021-22 Season

  • Formation: 4-3-3
  • Key Players: Allan Saint-Maximin, Jonjo Shelvey, Callum Wilson
  • Weaknesses: Defensive frailty, lack of creativity in midfield, over-reliance on individual brilliance

2020-21 Season

  • Formation: 4-4-2
  • Key Players: Callum Wilson, Miguel Almirón, Jonjo Shelvey
  • Weaknesses: Lack of cohesion, limited attacking options, defensive inconsistency

Current 2022-23 Season

  • Formation: 4-3-3, 4-2-3-1, 5-3-2
  • Key Players: Bruno Guimarães, Sven Botman, Kieran Trippier
  • Strengths: Defensive solidity, midfield control, versatile attacking options

Key Differences

  • Tactical Evolution: The team's tactical flexibility and adaptability have been a significant improvement compared to previous seasons.
  • Player Recruitment: The signings of players like Botman, Guimarães, and Trippier have strengthened the squad and addressed areas of concern.
  • Coaching Impact: Eddie Howe's tactical acumen and man-management skills have been instrumental in transforming the team's fortunes.

How Newcastle's Lineup Shapes Up Against Their Opponents

Analyzing Matchups

  • Possession-Dominant Teams: Newcastle's midfield control and defensive organization make them well-equipped to handle teams that prioritize possession.
  • Counterattacking Sides: The Magpies' ability to transition quickly and unleash the pace of players like Saint-Maximin and Almirón can pose problems for teams that rely on the counter-attack.
  • Set-piece Threats: The team's occasional vulnerability from set-pieces could be exploited by opponents with aerial prowess or dead-ball specialists.

Tactical Adjustments

  • Formation Flexibility: Newcastle's ability to switch between different formations allows them to match up effectively against a variety of opponents.
  • Personnel Changes: Howe has shown a willingness to rotate his starting lineup, bringing in fresh legs or different skill sets to address the specific challenges posed by the opposition.
  • In-Game Adaptations: The Newcastle manager has demonstrated the ability to make tactical and personnel changes during matches to adapt to the flow of the game and the opponent's adjustments.

Key Matchups

  • Top-6 Opponents: Facing the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool, and Chelsea will test Newcastle's defensive solidity and their ability to counter-attack effectively.
  • Direct Rivals: Matches against fellow top-four contenders, such as Arsenal and Manchester United, will be crucial in determining the Magpies' aspirations for the season.
  • Set-piece Specialists: Teams with a strong aerial presence and set-piece prowess, like Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United, could pose a particular threat to Newcastle's backline.

Newcastle's Lineup: A Statistical Analysis

Team Performance Metrics

  • Goals Scored: Newcastle has consistently found the back of the net, with their attacking players contributing to a high-scoring record.
  • Goals Conceded: The Magpies' defensive solidity is reflected in their low goals conceded tally, with the central defensive partnership playing a crucial role.
  • Possession Percentage: While not always dominating possession, Newcastle has shown the ability to control the tempo of games and dictate the flow of play.

Individual Player Statistics

  • Bruno Guimarães: Leading the team in key passes, tackles, and ball recoveries, the Brazilian midfielder has been the engine of the Newcastle team.
  • Kieran Trippier: The experienced wing-back has been a consistent source of goals and assists, providing a valuable attacking threat from the right side.
  • Callum Wilson: The striker has maintained a impressive goal-scoring record when available, showcasing his clinical finishing ability.

Expected Goals (xG) and Expected Assists (xA)

  • Overperformance: Newcastle's attacking players, such as Almiron and Saint-Maximin, have consistently outperformed their expected goal and assist numbers, highlighting their ability to create and convert chances.
  • Defensive Solidity: The team's defensive performance, as measured by expected goals against (xGA), has been impressive, with the backline and goalkeeper contributing to this metric.
  • Set-piece Vulnerability: The team's higher-than-expected goals conceded from set-pieces indicates an area that requires further improvement.

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Newcastle's Starting XI: Fans' Predictions and Expectations

Fan Predictions

  • Consistent Starters: Based on fan surveys and discussions, the majority of supporters expect to see the likes of Guimarães, Botman, and Trippier as consistent starters in the lineup.
  • Rotation and Depth: Fans anticipate that Howe will continue to rotate the squad, particularly in midfield and attack, to keep the team fresh and adapt to different opponents.
  • Emerging Talents: There is excitement among fans about the potential of players like Elliot Anderson and Alexander Isak to make a significant impact as the season progresses.

Fans' Expectations

  • Top-4 Finish: Many Newcastle supporters are hopeful that the team can secure a coveted top-four finish in the Premier League, which would secure a place in next season's UEFA Champions League.
  • Domestic Cup Success: Fans are eager to see the Magpies mount a serious challenge in the domestic cup competitions, potentially ending the club's long wait for a trophy.
  • Continued Development: Supporters are excited to see the continued growth and improvement of the team, with the expectation that Howe will continue to build a squad capable of challenging for honors in the years to come.


Newcastle United's starting lineup has been a crucial factor in their impressive start to the 2022-23 Premier League season. The team's tactical flexibility, defensive solidity, and dynamic attacking play have made them a formidable opponent for any team in the league.

Under the guidance of Eddie Howe, the Magpies have evolved their lineup, with the integration of key signings and the development of existing players. The team's ability to adapt to different formations and match the specific challenges posed by their opponents has been a testament to the manager's tactical acumen.

As the season progresses, Newcastle fans will be eagerly anticipating the continued development of their starting XI, with the hope of securing a coveted top-four finish and potentially ending the club's long wait for a trophy. With the passion and support of their loyal fanbase, the Magpies will be aiming to reach new heights and cement their place among the Premier League's elite.