Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe.
Ahead of a big seven days in the battle to avoid relegation, Eddie Howe’s are one of the Premier League’s in-form sides after a run of five wins and three draws helped the Magpies move further away from the bottom three.
The United boss has been fairly consistent in his team selection during the recent upturn in form and has remained unchanged in his last three fixtures.
However, with three away days inside a week, Howe could look to freshen up his side by handing a number of opportunities to players that have watched on from the sidelines in recent weeks.
Newcastle World takes a look at FIVE players that could benefit from some squad rotation over the coming week.
The former Liverpool and Atletico Madrid full-back has rarely let Newcastle down when called upon by Howe or predecessors Steve Bruce and Rafa Benitez.
The Spaniard has made 17 appearances in all competitions this season and looked set for a run in the side when January signing Kieran Trippier saw his season all-but-ended by a foot injury sustained in the 1-0 home win against Aston Villa last month.
Unfortunately for Manquillo, he was replaced during the same fixture after suffering ankle ligament damage that was not as serious as first feared.
Emil Krafth was recalled when Manquillo was ruled out of the 1-1 draw at West Ham United and the Swedish international produced two solid displays as he maintained his place in the starting lineup for wins against Brentford and Brighton.
Although there is no doubt Krafth has improved on the underwhelming performances that were the hallmark of his first two years at the club, Manquillo’s forward-thinking style of play does fit with Howe’s vision for his full-backs.
It would be harsh on Krafth, but it would not be a shock to see Manquillo feature over the next week.
Could this be the week when Bruno Guimaraes is finally handed his first start as a Newcastle player?
The Brazilian midfielder has been forced to remain patient after he made substitute appearances in all five of the Premier League fixtures since his £40million move from Lyon in January.
Despite those appearances only totalling around 45 minutes of on-field action, Bruno has shown flashes of brilliance and the control and composure he can bring to the United midfield.
He can consider himself unfortunate that his arrival at the club coincided with an improvement in form of midfield trio Jonjo Shelvey, Joelinton and Joe Willock.
However, with United in need of control and poise in their next two fixtures against two possession-hungry sides in Southampton and Chelsea, Bruno could finally make his first start for the club.
Bruno’s hopes will have been raised by the positive words spoken by Howe in the aftermath of Saturday’s win against Brighton.
He said: “In every cameo he has given so far, he has used the ball very well, that’s him,” Howe told reporters after the 2-1 win. “He has shown what he will bring.
“He’s played a couple of lovely passes to Maxi (Allan Saint-Maximin). They have built a nice little relationship already.
“My heart was in my mouth mind you when he performed that little pirouette on the touchline! But that is Bruno, he is an out-and-out footballer.
“He also won the ball back for us at a couple of key moments from a defensive perspective. He can certainly do a bit of everything, he’s not a luxury player.”
It would have seemed ludicrous to suggest Saint-Maximin may not be part of Eddie Howe’s starting lineup prior to the calf problem that ruled him out of games against West Ham and Brentford.
Despite his recovery and a return to training, Howe resisted the temptation to hand the mercurial Frenchman an immediate recall and kept faith with Jacob Murphy for Saturday’s win against Brighton.
Speaking after that win, Howe addressed his relationship with Saint-Maximin, saying: “His attitude was fine. We have built up a good relationship in a short period of time.
“He understood he only had one training session and the team has performed well in his absence.
“He came on, did very well and made a difference for us.”
That latter comment will offer hope to Saint-Maximin as he looks to secure a starting place during the trio of away games.
Whether that comes at Southampton remains to be seen - but there is no doubt the former Nice winger will be a big player for Howe between now and the end of the season.
The Magpies captain featured in all but one of Eddie Howe’s first 15 Premier League games in charge of Newcastle before an illness ruled him out of the 1-0 home win against Aston Villa last month.
Since that game, Lascelles has played just seven minutes of football after he replaced Joe Willock in the closing stages of the recent 2-0 win at Brentford.
Again, much like Bruno Guimaraes, Lascelles return to fitness has coincided with an upturn in form from Fabian Schar and January signing Dan Burn looks undroppable given his impressive introduction to life at St James Park.
Magpies boss Eddie Howe will have a number of factors to consider before deciding whether to hand his captain a recall - but the United manager has spoken of wanting tough calls to make in recent weeks.
He said: “These are the selection headaches I want. I’ve got no issue making difficult decisions. You want a squad that is pushing and fighting each other.
“Whoever plays knows that if they don’t perform, they have a very good player waiting for their opportunity to get back in.
“That’s the culture you want to create.”
The Geordie midfielder feels like he is approaching a turning point in his career with his boyhood club.
Longstaff is in the final months of his current contract and Eddie Howe has spoken about wanting to keep him at the club.
The offer of a new deal is on the table and a number of Premier League and Championship clubs are believed to be monitoring the situation.
Regular game-time could be a decisive factor in Longstaff’s eventual decision over his future - and he does appear to have Howe’s support, even though he has remained an unused substitute in four of United’s last five fixtures.
Speaking last week, Howe said: “I really do rate him (Longstaff) highly and I am desperate for him to get an opportunity and show everyone on a consistent basis what he can do because he's a top player.
“I would love him to stay and there is no part of me that wants to see him leave and I believe he has a long-term future here.”
Midfield has unexpectedly become a position of strength for Newcastle with Jonjo Shelvey, Joe Willock and Joelinton in fine form at the moment and new signing Bruno Guimaraes also awaiting a chance to shine.
If Longstaff is handed a chance in any of the three away days over the next week, the pressure will be on him to make the most of the opportunity to force his way into Howe’s starting lineup on a more regular basis.