TEAM NEWS – Rafa makes TWO shock changes to the NUFC team to play Southampton today

The teams are out for today’s 4pm kick off at St Mary’s and Rafa Benitez has made TWO surprise changes from the side that earned a 1-1 draw with Liverpool:

OUT – Merino & Clark. IN – Hayden & Lejeune

It is understood that Merino and Clark have been rested, with both starting from the bench.

Here’s the team we’ll see line-up against Southampton today:

Newcastle United XI – (4-2-3-1) – Elliot – Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Manquillo – Hayden, Shelvey – Ritchie, Perez , Atsu – Joselu. (SUBS- Darlow, Gamez, Merino, Diame, Clark, Murphy, Gayle)

Florian Lejeune makes his first start since the opening day against Spurs, coming in for Ciaran Clark, whilst Yedlin and Manquillo’s solid displays against Liverpool see them retain their places at RB and LB – seeing Mbemba and Gamez missing out on the left-back slot.

Mikel Merino has been rested and must settle for a place on the bench, meaning Isaac Hayden will partner Jonjo Shelvey in midfield.

Ritchie and Atsu will operate out wide once again after recovering from knocks, while Perez stars in the number 10 role just behind Joselu – who’ll be hoping to kick on today after scoring a much needed goal against Liverpool two weeks ago.

Southampton XI (4-2-2-2) – Forster – Cedric, van Dijk, Yoshida, Bertrand –  Lemina, Romeu – Tadic, Redmond – Gabbiadini, Long.

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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.

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