The predicted Newcastle team v Stoke has been heavily influenced by the growing number of injuries.
Sunday night’s revelation that Fabricio Coloccini had managed to injure himself in a warm down after the Lillestrom match, means that a brand new pairing of Steven Taylor and Jamaal Lascelles look sure to start at Stoke.
It will certainly mean United are stronger in the air but with Stoke’s change of style away from Peter Crouch, it remains to be seen just how big a factor that might be.
With Mitrovic injured, Papiss Cisse not even travelling to La Manga as he is still on his way back from injury, it would be a major gamble for Steve McClaren to throw in Seydou Doumbia for his first start.
The striker showed nothing against an out of season Norwegian outfit on Saturday and I can only see Ayoze Perez having to play that sole striker role, especially with Riviere looking the same player who disappointed throughout last season.
Cheick Tiote and Rob Elliot weren’t involved on Saturday but no reports of any injuries (yet!) for either and I would see both of those as automatic choices for a week on Wednesday at the Britannia Stadium.
Maybe if there were other options available then there might have been a small chance of McClaren taking Wijnaldum out of the firing line as he continues to struggle away from home. However, it would surely just be daft to throw in an uninspiring Riviere or Doumbia for the player who is way out in front as Newcastle’s top goalscorer this season with nine goals.
Left-back is as always a contentious position…even when everybody is fit. Haidara is still injured, whilst Dummett was at La Manga but not one of the 20 players named as available on the matchday.
Jack Colback wasn’t involved either but Steve McClaren revealed after the match that this was only due to a small ‘niggle’, so I think he will play unless he has any further injury setback.
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