Two big questions ahead of Steve McClaren picking his Newcastle team v West Ham.
Firstly, will Jonjo Shelvey and/or Henri Saivet start on Saturday.
Secondly, if either/both do, who do they replace?
Viable alternatives on the bench on Tuesday were pretty much non-existent, whilst Rolando Aarons (and Emmanuel Riviere – for what it’s worth) belatedly makes his comeback tonight when the reserves face Everton.
So the very most Aarons could hope for against West Ham, unless he gets injured in the meantime…
Basically, only the two new signings are potential changes to a starting eleven who came back from 0-2 and 2-3 against Manchester United.
There is no time to lose and I think Steve McClaren must put both Saivet and Shelvey straight in. They have both played plenty of football this season and started the games for their respective (now former) clubs last weekend, so no fitness issues you would imagine.
The two who I would replace are Ayoze Perez and Jack Colback.
Colback has been poor this season and is also a liability with his shocking collection of yellow cards, often picked up early in matches – leaving him on a tightrope and inhibiting his game.
Putting Saivet alongside Cheick Tiote (who did ok against Man Utd) should both tighten things up defensively and give Newcastle better options to get the ball played through the midfield and up the players who can do some damage.
Ayoze Perez’ form has faded badly and his inherent popularity has covered for a lot of that, being taken out of the firing line might not do him any harm either and coming on fresh for the final 30 minutes could see him far more effective and get his confidece built up again.
Jonjo Shelvey must play and I would have him pushed up in the middle of the pitch with Wijnaldum and Sissoko either side. The former Swansea midfielder could prove the perfect addition and really help these two to score and create, as well as contributing goals and assists himself.
My Newcastle team v West Ham:
To create the image above I used the NUFC team selector.
You can do the same by following the simple instructions HERE and then there are a number of great options where you can then also share your team via Twitter (include @nufcthemag in your tweet and we will share some of them with our 17k+ followers) , or you can share the selector on Facebook with friends, family and the rest of the black and white world. Alternatively, simply downloading the team image to the device you are using
When using the NUFC team selector you simply click on what team formation (4-3-3, 4-4-2 etc) you want, then click each position on the pitch and choose from the Newcastle United squad.
Go to the NUFC team selector now and choose and share your Newcastle team v West Ham.
Before every match, simply go to the menu at the top of this screen and click features, then on the drop down list click NUFC Team Selector and choose your team for every match.
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