Wolves v Newcastle United: Inside track on Steve Bruce's side

Wolves take on Newcastle United this weekend, hoping to get back to winning ways in the top flight - find out about the Magpies here.

Newcastle United's Joelinton (left) and Leicester City's Caglar Soyuncu
Newcastle United's Joelinton (left) and Leicester City's Caglar Soyuncu

We spoke with Lee Ryder, Chief NUFC writer for ChronicleLive, to get his take on Steve Bruce's side.

See what he had to say here...

What have you made of Newcastle's season so far, how would you say it's gone?

Up until before Christmas, I'd have said it was going swimmingly.

But a poor festive period has left Newcastle just above the relegation pack.

All in all, if you'd offered most Toon fans 25 points from 21 games they'd have taken it given the traumatic summer they suffered.

Last time these sides met it ended even at 1-1, what will Newcastle have taken from that encounter, do you think?

Nothing other than Wolves are a top Premier League side these days.

Newcastle United's Isaac Hayden (left) and Leicester City's Ricardo Pereira

They can beat anybody in the Prem on their day and this will be a very hard afternoon for the Magpies.

Offer me the same result now and Geordie fans would snap your hand off!

Are Newcastle looking to be busy this month in the transfer window, what sort of players do you think are needed?

I think they will make a couple of tweaks and try to ease what is a troublesome wage bill.

Big earners like Henri Saivet, Jack Colback and Ki barely feature these days.

They are draining the club of around £150,000 per week.

How has the football looked under Steve Bruce, have things developed over the season?

Steve Bruce tried to change the tactics a little bit back in September when he switched to a back four.

The players didn't respond and Bruce believes many of them can't move away from Rafa Benitez's five-man defence.

Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce

It's a problem really, but Newcastle need to stay up this year so he has admitted he won't interfere too much until they are safe.

They have tweaked things in terms of encouraging the wing-backs to push on a bit and they have had some moderate success with Jetro Willems and DeAndre Yedlin scoring or assisting.

Who are the players in form that Wolves will need to worry about and why?

The little man Miguel Almiron can be a menace on his day.

He's full of tricks but he works so hard too.

He scored at Rochdale and if he's fit I think he will be in the mood for another goal or two.

Are there any injury worries at St James' Park?

There is a packed treatment room at the minute.

Ciaran Clark, Paul Dummett and Andy Carroll have just stepped out of there.

Newcastle United's Fabian Schar (centre) appears injured

Carroll would be the big difference if he was available as he is such a game changer.

If you remember in his early days he had a great game at Wolves back in 2011 and he'd love to get his first goal this weekend.

What sort of line-up and style can we expect to see, what's your predicted XI?

Basically we are looking at a back five and with so many knocks it would be difficult to name a predicted XI.

Bruce had 10 from 22 outfield players missing before Rochdale.

Newcastle United's Miguel Almiron

What have you made of Wolves from afar, do you think there's a chance they could trouble the top four this season?

I can't see why they can't. They are ambitious enough that's for sure.

They have a top manager and they can spend if they need to.

Most teams going to Wolves know they are in for a game.

Your match prediction?

If Newcastle get a few players back from injury 1-1, if they don't 3-1 to Wolves.

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