This is the predicted Newcastle team v Southampton for today’s match.
Speaking ahead of the game, Rafa Benitez obviously hasn’t named his team but he has given a lot of indications/information as to what the probablity will be.
Rafa confirmed that Fabricio Coloccini won’t be available once again, whilst Paul Dummett is back training but Benitez says he doesn’t think it would be right to risk him yet due to the full-back repeatedly breaking down when coming back after injury.
The United boss has indicated that Gini Wijnaldum will play but Henri Saivet playing at Arsenal last night for the reserves has ruled out any surprise recall for him, even to the bench.
With nobody else seemingly back from injury, it looks very much as though Benitez has the same range of players as he had against Norwich.
Rafa praised all three strikers involved last week and surely Mitrovic will definitely start this time, with Cisse the most likely alongside him.
The Newcastle Manager had said before Norwich that he was looking to rely on the experienced players to try and keep Newcastle up and his team selection last Saturday reflected that.
However, both Tiote and Anita were dragged off after shocking performances – the Ivory Coast midfielder at half-time and then Vurnon Anita after he was embarrassed both by pace and strength when tried at left-back. Against a Southampton team with both energy and strength, I can’t see how either of them can keep their places.
In this jigsaw, you are then left looking at which of the other broken pieces you are going to try and finish the picture off with.
Jack Colback would almost certainly have played I think but his suspension keeps him out until Swansea next weekend.
With his predicament, I think Rafa Benitez may look at doing something very different with the players he is left with.
Jamaal Lascelles is likely to come back in to try and help deal with the physical presence of Pelle, with very possibly a back three/five in operation with plenty asked of Sissoko and Janmaat.
Sissoko gets a hard time and most of the criticism is justified but two things he does have are pace and stamina – towards the end of the Norwich match he looked far more effective when asked to get up and down the pitch from left-back and this helped to give Newcastle a more expansive game.
I’m sure he won’t see it as ideal but I can see Rafa Benitez putting out this kind of formation below, with both Townsend and Shelvey obviously also involved but how they are utilised with a likely front two in operation is open to question.
The predicted Newcastle team v Southampton:
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 18k 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 Southampton.
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