Here is my Newcastle team v Brighton and I think at last we will be able to put a team out that is maybe getting close to what Rafa Benitez wants.
Although of course I wouldn’t presume to totally know Rafa’s mind, it is obvious that in the opening four Championship matches the Newcastle boss has been trying things out and many of them, often by necessity, have meant square pegs in round holes.
The Newcastle Manager is of course pressing ahead with more new signings and news on Thursday morning that the club are in talks to bring in a new left-back (Achraf Lazaar), to complement the arrival of DeAndre Yedlin on the other side of the pitch.
This pair (if Lazaar deal goes through) will hopefully raise the quality as well as the number of options at Rafa’s disposal – but the good news is that now I think the United boss will be able to make some positive choices this weekend against Brighton. As in choosing which players to start, rather than being forced into certain selections through lack of options.
Karl Darlow came in against League Two Cheltenham and looked the part, he had his own nervous start to his Newcastle career and I think it is sensible for Rafa to keep him in as Matz Sels adjusts to life in English football.
On the other hand, Jesus Gamez really looked the part on his debut on Tuesday and has hinted at the class act we were expecting, fingers crossed he stays in as well.
I don’t think Yedlin will be rushed into the team and no reason why he needs to be, with Vurnon Anita doing well at right-back as he did last season.
The centre of defence is obvious, whilst for me the middle of the pitch is also an easy choice. Hayden the out and out defensive midfielder and Shelvey pushing the buttons going forward.
Shelvey isn’t the most mobile but with the energy of Diame and Ritchie on the flanks they can help negate that.
Speaking of lack of mobility…hopefully Saturday will see the first coming together of Mitrovic alongside Dwight Gayle, giving United far more for Brighton to worry about. With crosses flying in for both strikers, it is hard to see the outcome not being plenty of goals.
Really looking forward to this match and if Rafa plays this team, I can see a big performance, some great football, and most importantly, three points.
My Newcastle team v Brighton:
To create the image above, Ryan Williamson 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 19k 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 Brighton.
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.