With the huge game against Brighton fast approaching, we’ve looked at the starting 11 Rafa Benitez looks almost certain to go with come 3pm tomorrow afternoon.
It’s often been so hard to second guess the Spaniard when it comes to his team selections – with him often rotating every week in the Championship – however the team is now starting to take shape in areas.
With Rafa confirming that Rondon and Clark are out and Dummet deemed ‘OK’ to play, here’s the side we expect to see start:
(4-4-1-1) – Dubravka – Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Dummett – Ritchie, Shelvey, Diame, Kenedy – Perez, Muto.
Rondon may have been ruled out by Rafa – although some would argue that Muto deserves his place in the team regardless of Rondon’s fitness, with him being superb at Old Trafford two weeks ago.
Joselu’s scored 2 of our 3 goals at St James’ so far this season, but Muto looks far more of a threat – with his pace and energy also far more likely to trouble two 6ft 4′ centre-backs in Dunk and Duffy.
Atsu and Murphy have been given the odd chance during Kenedy’s real dip in form, however the Brazilian put in his best performance of the season at Man Utd – scoring and putting in a much improved all round display. He’s fit, so I’m certain he’ll be starting.
That back five seems like our strongest and the team I’d expect to see Benitez pick every week until Lejeune is back. Dummett is back and Lascelles and Fernandez are now very much establishing themselves as Rafa’s first-choice centre-back pairing.
On paper we’re looking fairly strong for this one.
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