Here is my Newcastle team v Reading that can bring three points home on Wednesday night.
The first two matches have shown a lack of creativity and goal threat, with Rafa surely set to shuffle his pack again.
The question though is who to bring in???
The Newcastle boss has confirmed that neither Diame or Sissoko will play, Rafa saying both have ankle injuries – though the jury still out when it comes to believing that one on Moussa!
Rafa Benitez make clear he is going to bring in more signings but until he does, we have to find a way to produce goals in the meantime.
Reading are sure to defend in numbers and I think Newcastle have to press them high up the pitch, hopefully forcing mistakes from the opposition, rather than the self-inflicted ones against Huddersfield.
I fancy this 4-3-3 formation and a chance to get the likes of Shelvey and Janmaat further up the pitch, the two players who looked the only alternatives to Matt Ritchie when it came to creating absolutely anything at the weekend.
With Colback and Hayden able to help protect against counter-attacks, the three at the back removes the need to try and find a left-back until (fingers crossed) Brendan Galloway signs on loan.
Jesus Gamez is Newcastle’s most experienced defender/player having played Champions League and captained Malaga in La Liga, he should have no problem playing in a back three with his quality.
Up front, Gayle will hopefully build on his goal and Matt Ritchie is a no-brainer, whilst Ayoze Perez is chucked back in with the absence of any other obvious choices. Aarons failed miserably when given his go and should kept for sub appearances for the moment, whilst unfair to throw Adam Armstrong in after losing the first two and bringing the pressure on so early.
My Newcastle team v Reading:
To create the image above, Sam Hepworth 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 Reading.
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.