Newcastle prepare to Neil Warnock’s Cardiff side, complete with some new big (ish) name additions, in a game that could well prove to be crucial for both sides.
Cardiff are struggling, Newcastle on the other hand are flying but Rafa Benitez’s side will know just how crucial this game is, simply put, they can’t slip up.
Cardiff may well be boosted by their new additions but Newcastle’s recent form and home advantage should mean that they have enough to win the game.
If Newcastle are to win, their forwards will be key, be it Aleksandar Mitrovic or Dwight Gayle, whichever you prefer, get behind the one that starts.
Not only Newcastle’s forwards will be to their success obviously, the whole side will be.
So with this in mind, just what should the side be? My preference would be:
Although, what my preference is does not matter. All that matters is what Rafa Benitez thinks. Benitez has been at the very top of the game and is doing a remarkable job with Newcastle, in the Championship, long may it continue.
In Matt Ritchie’s absence, which is due mainly to the Scotsmans fiery attitude, Christian Atsu is likely to come into the team. Atsu will no doubt play his game as normal, with pace, power and skill.
Atsu is probably even more exciting that Ritchie is, so it is down to the Ghanaian international to show that he can produce just as regularly as his Scottish team mate.
With Atsu likely to be giving his all to keep his place in the side, it could be an exciting day for Newcastle fans, although probably not for the Cardiff defence.
One worry will be the strength of former Liverpool striker, Rickie Lambert, although Jamaal Lascelles should have enough to deal with that.
Junior Hoilett and Anthony Pilkington will carry the other main threats for Cardiff, but with both Newcastle fullbacks in great form and with the home side likely to dominate possession, they may soon become starved of service.