Newcastle United will be boosted by the return of Swiss international defender Fabian Schar for their visit to Craven Cottage in the final Premier League match of the season.
Schar has endured a rough ride of late, he was stretchered off the pitch in United’s 3-2 win over Southampton in February after going on a good run of form and then he was harshly sent off in his return to action during the 2-0 defeat to Arsenal.
Unfortunately, the Premier League didn’t break their habit of doing the Magpies no favours and the subsequent appeal of the red card was bizarrely rejected and his three match ban stood.
This meant the 29-year old had to sit out the 4-2 win over Leicester City, 4-3 defeat to the hands of champions Manchester City and also the 1-0 win over Sheffield United that coincided with 10000 Toon fans being allowed back into St. James’ Park.
The form has hardly suffered as a result of Schar being unavailable but he should be in line for a return to the starting 11 for the Fulham game.
A recognised centre back
Due to injuries and Florian Lejeune being out on loan in Spain, Newcastle have had a bit of a shortage of centre backs of late which has meant the Emil Krafth has had to step in.
The Swedish international has struggled on Tyneside since making the move in the summer of 2019 but many fans have been pleasantly surprised with his contributions since taking the role as a stand in centre half.
However, Schar is an established centre back and one that excels as part of a back three system like the one we are operating in at the moment and as such he should come back in.
The clean sheet against the Blades was a rarity but Schar coming in could sure up the defence as they look to make it two in a row.
It may be harsh of Krafth, but Steve Bruce has to chose his best players.
His passing abilities
The back three of Federico Fernandez, Paul Dummett and Emil Krafth has been pretty solid but none of the three are particularly comfortable on the ball.
Against Sheffield United, a game where the Magpies had more of the ball than they are used to, the lack of a ball playing centre back was really apparent.
We struggled to get the ball forward quickly and with Jonjo Shelvey having to drop deeper and deeper to pick the ball up as a result, it meant we were a man down going forward at times.
Schar solves that problem. His passing range is as good as most centre backs in the whole division and this could give Newcastle another outlet as they look to end the season on a high.