Newcastle United return to action this evening as they face off against Wolves at St James’ Park in the Premier League.
The Magpies are currently on a run of three straight defeats and will be looking to put their poor form to an end with a positive result against Bruno Lage’s side.
Eddie Howe’s men were given a thrashing last time out in the top flight as they were hammered 5-1 by Antonio Conte’s Tottenham last weekend.
The ex-Cherries head coach will surely make changes to his team in the hope of turning in an improved performance, and one player he must finally unleash from the start is Bruno Guimaraes after benching him last week.
The midfielder came on as a substitute against Spurs and caught the eye with a strong showing amid a number of poor displays from his team-mates. As per SofaScore, he won seven of his nine duels, made four tackles and completed 96% of his attempted passes – resulting in one key pass – in just 31 minutes on the pitch.
Will Newcastle beat Wolves?
To put those statistics into context, Joe Willock (six), Jonjo Shelvey (three) and Joelinton (two) all failed to win as many duels as the Brazilian despite all of them starting the match, with the former two playing the full 90 minutes and Joelinton coming off in the 59th minute.
His former Lyon team-mate Houssem Aouar dubbed Bruno as someone who “constantly offers solutions” for his team’s defenders by sweeping up ahead of them. This was on full display in his cameo performance in north London as the 24-year-old got stuck in and won possession back for his team in the little time that he had on the pitch.
Howe previously hailed the midfielder as a “standout” player and that is exactly what he can be for Newcastle against Wolves if he is named in the starting XI.
In his last Premier League start – against Everton in mid-March – Bruno impressed in the middle of the park. As per SofaScore, he won seven of his nine duels and made three tackles, whilst completing 97% of his passes and all nine of his long pass attempts.
This display – along with his ability to outshine Willock, Shelvey and Joelinton against Spurs – suggests that he has the quality to run the midfield for the Magpies. He can excel both on and off the ball and it is time for Howe to throw him in from the start at St James’ Park tonight.