After a disappointing result against Blackburn Rovers at the weekend, Rafa Benitez takes his Newcastle side to Premier League side Hull City tonight in the hope of progressing to the EFL Cup semi-finals.
Changes to the line-up are expected, especially in the wake of Saturday’s defeat. So just how should Newcastle line-up?
Ultimately that is a decision for Rafa Benitez, however, personally I would like to see the following:
GK: Matz Sels – Sels had a mixed bag at the start of the season, making a mistake in the Aston Villa game which saw him dropped. However, he was excellent in the 6-0 win over Preston and with this being an EFL Cup tie, it is likely that Sels will return to the Newcastle goal.
RB: DeAndre Yedlin – Usually, I would prefer to see Anita there, however his energy may be needed in midfield. Yedlin also links up well with Matt Ritchie and has recently played in the Premier League.
CB: Jamaal Lascelles- the captain was missed at the weekend and surely can’t miss out again.
CB: Ciaran Clark – He has had an excellent partnership with Lascelles this season and Chancel Mbemba did little to impress against Blackburn.
LB: Paul Dummett – Achraaf Lazaar doesn’t seem to have played enough to be considered for a game of this magnitude and Jesus Gamez is out injured. Dummett also gives balance to the side and has had a very good season this campaign.
RW: Matt Ritchie – He can’t really be left out and hopefully the enigmatic winger will be back to his best.
CM: Jonjo Shelvey – Blackburn’s deep defensive line negated his influence on Saturday, however Hull may leave far more gaps for Shelvey’s clever passing to exploit.
CM: Vurnon Anita – Anita offers energy and the ability to retain the ball, like Jack Colback. Colback was out injured at the weekend and may not be fully fit for today’s game.
LW: Yoan Gouffran – Gouffran offers balance to the side and scores goals. He is always an option for his team mates when in possession. While his hard work and tactical awareness helps his left back. Arguably Newcastle’s player of the season so far, Gouffran is unlikely to find himself on the substitutes bench again.
Ten: Mo Diame – The Senegalese playmaker is yet to show Newcastle fans his best football but after Ayoze Perez’s poor performance at the weekend and Diame’s two goals in the last round of the EFL Cup, it comes to reason that he will be back in the side against his former club.
ST: Dwight Gayle – His thirteen goals this season say everything. Newcastle will need Dwight Gayle if they are to dump a Premier League side out of the cup.