With five defeats and a draw in our last 6, it’s fair to say this Newcastle side is pretty out of form right.
There were glimpses of improvements in last week’s battling draw at West Brom and strong start at Stamford bridge over the weekend, but the same mistakes have continued to cost us all over the pitch – especially at the back.
These things must change, and fast, with us entering a busy and crucial December in search of some much needed points.
With this in mind, here’s the team and the THREE changes we think Benitez will go with for the visit of an in-form Leicester City tomorrow:
Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Darlow – Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark Mbemba – Merino, Shelvey– Ritchie, Perez, Murphy – Gayle.
1. Clark OUT / Lascelles IN?
Rafa confirmed that Lascelles is now fit. His return will be a huge boost. Some will say that Lejeune deserves dropping over Clark on recent displays, but Lejeune looked superb alongside Lascelles prior to the skipper’s injury. The Frenchman was brought in by Benitez as a first choice centre-back and I think we’ll see their promising partnership resume today.
2. Manquillo OUT / Yedlin IN?
Manquillo did look far more comfortable on his favoured right side at Chelsea last weekend, but I think we’ll see Yedlin back in for this one. He deserved dropping and has hopefully learnt his lesson, but he’s still our best right-back and his pace may be needed against the likes of Demarai Gray and Jamie Vardy on Saturday.
3. Diame OUT / Shelvey IN?
A no brainer. Diame didn’t do nearly enough last weekend and a Shelvey/Merino partnership is surely our strongest one at home when both fit?
Let us know your thoughts folks – do you like the look of this team?