Here is the predicted Newcastle team v Wolves, though with Rafa Benitez we are quickly learning that it is the near equivalent of picking six numbers in the national lottery.
The assembling of this extensive squad and Rafa’s careful management of it, means that he appears to have all of his players to choose from, with the exception of long-term injured Rolando Aarons and Rob Elliot.
Tuesday night at Loftus Road saw the Newcastle boss pick a slightly more adventurous team selection with Mitrovic and Perez up front, I fancy more of the same but with Dwight Gayle likely to replace the Spanish striker.
With Mitrovic scoring and putting in such a promising performance, the odds must surely be on Benitez looking to keep the Serbian’s confidence rolling and playing him in front of a sold out fifty two thousand crowd at St James Park today.
Mohamed Diame sat out that 6-0 win and along with Gayle he must be a knocking bet to come back in, whilst Matt Ritchie is surely a player who you would find it very hard to imagine Rafa leaving out in a big game, unless the player needed it.
Wolves could be an unpredictable opponent after their shock 4-0 home defeat to Barnsley on Tuesday night but Newcastle’s best tactic must be to get at them from the start and pressure them as far up the pitch as possible.
Jonjo Shelvey’s fitness and form has improved as the games have gone by, after his man of the match display at QPR we will be looking to him to pull the strings once again. Isaac Hayden is looking the perfect partner for Shelvey in the middle of the pitch and Tuesday night should be the time to give the pair of them a rest.
The only outfield player to start every Championship match so far is Vurnon Anita – but is today the time to give DeAndre Yedlin a run out? He’s looked lively in his substitute appearances and maybe Vurnon will find himself rotated this time, just to make sure the team is kept fresh as Rafa Benitez has repeatedly indicated he will.
On the other side, Paul Dummett has been putting in some disciplined shifts and Rafa has said that Tuesday is much more likely for fans to see their first glimpse of Achraf Lazaar (and Daryl Murphy) in action, so unless Clark is switched to full-back or Jesus Gamez (not in the matchday 18 on Tuesday) is called up, we can expect Dummett to continue.
With five consecutive clean sheets in the Championship I take it we won’t see any change in goal, whilst if Chancel Mbemba has shaken off his knock which meant Rafa rested him at QPR, we can expect the first choice Lascelles/Mbemba partnership to resume.
My predicted Rafa Benitez Newcastle team v Wolves:
To create the image above, I used the NUFC team selector.
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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.
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Newcastle v Wolves Match Betting:
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