Newcastle United face off against Manchester United at Wembley this evening as they go in search of their first major domestic trophy since 1955.
The Magpies are currently fighting for a place in Europe in the Premier League this season – as they sit fifth in the table – but can secure themselves European nights at St. James’ Park next term by defeating the Red Devils today.
Eddie Howe and his team can be modern-day heroes for the club by coming away with the win and the trophy but come into the game off the back of a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Liverpool last time out.
The English head coach may use that loss as an excuse to make a few changes to his starting XI for this gigantic match at Wembley, with most players likely to be desperate to start given the occasion.
How could Newcastle line-up in the League Cup final?
Here is our predicted XI…
Loris Karius; Kieran Trippier, Fabian Schar, Sven Botman, Dan Burn; Sean Longstaff, Bruno Guimaraes, Joelinton; Miguel Almiron, Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin.
Starting between the sticks, Nick Pope’s red card against Liverpool and Martin Dubravka being cup-tied – thanks to playing for today’s opponents in the first half of the campaign – has opened up the door for Karius to make his Toon debut and it is a huge chance for him to prove his quality after a few rough years.
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In midfield, we predict that Guimaraes will return to the side to replace youngster Elliot Anderson – who has not been involved in a single goal in the league – after serving his three-match suspension for being sent off in the semi-finals of this competition against Southampton.
Journalist Jacque Talbot hailed the Brazilian as a “world-class talent” earlier this season and the 25-year-0ld – who has plundered three goals and three assists in the Premier League this season – could have the magic touch in the middle of the park at Wembley.
The third and final change we are predicting is Wilson coming in to replace Alexander Isak. He has scored 27 goals in 53 top-flight starts for Newcastle since joining the club in 2020 and has proven himself, over the course of a number of years, to be a match-winner for the Toon Army.
In 14 Premier League starts this season, the 30-year-old has produced seven goals and three assists and has the ability to be the Wembley hero for the Magpies this afternoon, whilst Isak – who has one goal and one assist in his last four substitute outings – could be an excellent option off the bench.