With injuries and rotation in mind, we think we might be able to second guess Rafa Benitez’s team selection for today’s trip to Manchester City.
Without further adieu, here’s the side I see starting today’s 5.30pm kick off live on BT Sport:
(5-4-1): Dubravka – Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Clark, Dummett – Murphy, Diame, Ki, Kenedy – Rondon.
Up top Rondon looks pretty nailed on after scoring from the bench against Forest and leading the line pretty well (despite being so so isolated) in the 1-2 home defeat to Chelsea.
Out wide, Kenedy looks out of sorts, but with Ritchie injured and Atsu doing very little to impress after being handed a start at Forest, I think Murphy and Kenedy will be given the nod.
Shelvey is out with a thigh injury and Hayden is still banned, so I can’t see beyond a Ki and Diame partnership in the centre of midfield.
Lascelles is almost certain to return in defence after recovering from an ankle problem, and I see him replacing Schar.
Fernandez was our stand out player against Chelsea and was the pick of a bad defensive bunch against Forest. Clark has been an ever present so far this season, so Schar may be nudged out the team after a poor showing against Forest on Wednesday.
Time will tell, but I can see this being the side that starts!
What would you go with if you were Rafa?