PREDICTED XI: The NUFC side we think Benitez will start at Chelsea tomorrow

November’s wasa bad month – with three defeats and a draw in our four disappointing displays – however it doesn’t look like getting much easier in December, with the festive period beginning with a tough trip to Chelsea tomorrow.

Tuesday’s comeback at West Brom was a huge result after we were 2-0 down, but two thirds of that performance was another that could fall into the category of ‘not good enough’ from NUFC.

With this in mind, here’s the team we think Benitez will start away at Chelsea tomorrow:

(4-2-3-1): Darlow – Yedlin, Lejeune, Clark, Mbemba – Hayden, Merino – Ritchie, Perez, Murphy – Mitrovic.

I know what you’re thinking, but let me explain below..



Many of you may be baffled as to why we’d ‘expect’ Rafa to start Mitrovic given how often he’s opted against starting him so far this season.

He’s almost always opted for Joselu, but the Spaniard looks out of touch, under confident and far less effective than Mitrovic on current form. He may not have wanted to, but even Rafa would’ve seen how Mitrovic gave us much more than Joselu during his late cameos against Watford and West Brom.

It wouldn’t surprise me if Rafa somehow puts faith in Joselu once again, but I get the feeling he’ll give Mitro his big chance tomorrow – however it could be a game where leading the line is a thankless chance away to the Champions.

I don’t see Shelvey coming back in for this one. We’re not going to have much of the ball and Hayden and Merino are, without doubt, stronger defensively than Jonjo. I’d personally like to pack the midfield and throw Shelvey in instead of Perez, but Ayoze presses from the front and is another Rafa favourite – especially in games like these where we’ll have to put in a real shift to keep them at bay.

Let us know your thoughts folks. Would you be happy to see this team start tomorrow?

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at [email protected] & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Born in Gateshead, Olly was a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

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