After a dismal display at Cardiff last week, it could be that Rafa rings the changes to try and improve performance levels.
New signings now have had longer to settle in, some players are back to full fitness and other players haven’t done enough to keep their places in the XI.
According to The Chronicle’s Mark Douglas, here’s SIX changes Rafa is now considering:
Joeslu scored a good goal against Spurs but his limitations are there for all to see, despite his good attitude and work rate. Rondon looked a threat during his cameo against Tottenham and hit the woodwork as we chased a goal to level the game. I was disappointed he didn’t come on against Cardiff but with two weeks training under his belt, surely this weekend will mean his first start in black and white.
Perez continued to frustrate last weekend, as he missed two good chances to give us that all important goal. He does flatter to deceive and with Benitez confirmed Muto has been brought in to play number 10 if needed (likely as he wasn’t given a proper number 10 by Charnley in the summer) it could be that Perez makes way this weekend for Muto.
Kenedy had a nightmare at the weekend but it probably is his first bad game for the club. The penalty miss was poor but the good news is won’t face a ban form the FA, despite a clear kick out. Either way he was always missing this game as he can’t play against his parent club Chelsea so a change on the wing is needed. Atsu has looked poor when given minutes but might just get the nod over Murphy, despite a slightly more promising cameo from him last weekend.
Mo had a brilliant close to 2017/2018 but hasn’t started the season particularly well. Shelvey will of course start and it might be that Ki comes in to provide competing to Diame and some time out the team might force him to up his game again. Ki has played with Shelvey before so Benitez might want to see how they can combine again against Chelsea.
Its great news Yedlin’s knee injury isn’t serious and he was close to playing at Cardiff. A week of full training hopefully sees him back in the XI, especially after a dreadful performance from Spaniard Manquillo in Wales last weekend. Josh Murphy tore him to shreds as he was booked and then hooked by Rafa to avoid him being sent off. Our lack of depth with the likes of Manquillo not being capable of filling in adequately is why Rafa wanted more funds in the summer. Let’s hope Yedlin can return against Chelsea.
Fernandez was a centre half Rafa wanted and has worked with before so it is a matter of time before he plays, especially with Lejeune out for the season. Clark did ok at the weekend but the sooner Fernandez can form a partnership with skipper Lascelles, the better. This could be the game we see the Argentinian come into the side.
Which of the new signings would you like to see start? And what XI would you go with on Sunday?