Benitez faced with TWO big decisions in the next 24 hours – What would you like to see happen?

The majority of Newcastle’s side will picks itself ahead of Saturday’s crucial match with Leicester City, but Rafa Benitez has two big decisions – does he start and out of sorts Kenedy and does he drop an out of sorts Ayoze Perez?

With the defence standing strong at Palace, Diame and Shelvey our best midfield partnership, Ritchie a stalwart and Joselu almost certain to start after Rondon’s injury, the majority of our starting 11 seems nailed on.

That being said, our lack of goal threat has been there for all to see in recent weeks – with notable dips in form for Kenedy and Perez leaving us looking toothless in attack.

This, for me, gives Rafa two big decisions to make ahead of Saturday’s game:

Kenedy or Murphy / Atsu?

The Brazilian was a key player for us in the second half of last year and one of the key reasons behind our rise from relegation candidates to a top half finish. He looked after the ball well, chipped in with a few goals and gave us that bit of flare we’d been lacking.



So far this season, he’s been anything but those things. He sorely lacking in confidence after horror shows at Cardiff and Forest and hasn’t showed much sign of improvement since, unfortunately.

Does Rafa continue with him in the hope that he can rediscover that form and confidence, or does he give Jacob Murphy or Christian Atsu a shot?

Perez or Muto?

Ayoze appears to be one of Rafa’s first names on the team sheet, but that must be under threat given how poor he’s been in recent weeks?

Yes Rafa failed to sign a natural number 10 over the summer, but it looks like new boy Yoshinori Muto is able to play in that second striker role too – so we finally have an alternative option.

Muto is yet to start a game in the Premier League as of yet (so I’m not holding my breath for this one), but he’s immediately offered more than Perez has been when he’s come on from the bench in the last few games.

Perez has been weak, cheap in possession and lacking in any sort of conviction, so it seems a risk free move to put in Muto on Ayoze’s current form.

What do you think he’ll go with?

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About Olly Hawkins

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

2 thoughts on “Benitez faced with TWO big decisions in the next 24 hours – What would you like to see happen?

  1. Well, I wouldn’t like him to change more than those two. If Kenedy’s problem is confidence, then dropping him entirely would not help, so a place on the bench is a possibility, but it seems neither Atsu or Murphy are forcing him out, so do you swap Ritchie to the left or try Muto out wide ?!? Perez doesn’t seem a lot different from last year and provides that defensive side that Rafa seems to demand (why we no longer have Mitro !), Sung-yong could be an option if available and Muto is put on a wing.

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  2. If Kennedy’ issue is confidence then he needs to be benched or dropped to give him that spark to regain it, if you keep giving him a starting place then he will grow complacent and never re discover last seasons form.

    As for Perez……. against palace was shameful but he seems to be the only player willing to attempt a run at the opposition so far this season, I agree with shaking things up and giving a relative unknown to the pl a run but the bench at worst for ayoze

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