Joshua King of Watford FC with Matt Ritchie of Newcastle United during the Premier League match between Watford and Newcastle United at Vicarage Road on September 25, 2021 in Watford, England.
Having done the hard yards on Benton’s training pitches over the summer, and stuck loyal to their 5-3-2 formation for the opening six games of the season, the formation went out the window - for now - at Watford.
Newcastle United switched to a 4-3-3 down at Vicarage Road and looked more solid at the back and a threat in the final third. Despite all of that, though, they only managed a point after taking the lead in a 1-1 draw.
Is the system, called for incessantly by fans since the start of the season, here to stay - or is a change back to the tried and tested in the pipeline?
Here’s what Steve Bruce has been saying on the topic.
Steve Bruce’s thoughts on the new 4-3-3 formation
“I think the statistics, I will give you them. It is not new to us to play a back four. We changed after Brighton (last season) after that horror show. Then we went to a back three from then on, the final games of the season, we were arguably at our best. So we decided to stay with that.
“I think it is something that most clubs have - you've got to have the ability to change.
“Certainly, we have played well in the last couple with it (back four), so, look, we concentrate that on next week also.”
Who do United play next?
Newcastle are on the road again this week as they travel to the West Midlands to take on Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Kick-off at Molinuex is at 3pm on Saturday.
What was the result in the corresponding fixture last season?
The Magpies somehow scraped a late 1-1 draw thanks to a free-kick from Jacob Murphy.
The winger turned wing-back is set to be on the bench this weekend, with Javier Manquillo preferred at right back, and Miguel Almiron further forward.