With Rafa Benitez having a near full squad to choose from, we asked supporters which 11 Newcastle players they would select to face Aston Villa.
With all votes counted, it gives us some really interesting feedback.
The percentage support for each player in the squad is below.
We assumed Vurnon Anita and Rolando Aarons were the only two ruled out through by injury, only for Rafa Benitez to then reveal that Isaac Hayden would be missing for a month after ankle surgery. Up until that news, Isaac Hayden had around 66% support so guessing that is his true popularity at the moment – with fans once they heard that injury news not voting for the midfielder and so his percentage vote slipping to a final 32%.
10 Newcastle players appear to be easy choices for the fans.
Pretty much everybody voting for Clark, Shelvey, Ritchie and Gayle, then Yedlin not far behind with 92%.
Darlow (85%) is clear next favourite despite his midweek gift at Norwich, we then have four players with 70% support or more.
These are Dummett, Lascelles, Diame and Atsu.
That gives us 10 overwhelming choices but then a major drop down to find the 11th member of the team supporters would select, it would clearly have been Isaac Hayden without the injury but instead Ayoze Perez on a lowly 33% creeps into the team.
A few things to discuss.
Interesting to see Paul Dummett (79%) getting such support, even more than Lascelles (78%). The full-back getting recognition for the steady job he is doing and also of course, the lack of a proven alternative.
Whilst Rafa Benitez clearly favours Yoan Gouffran (31%) in his usual starting eleven, there is also no surprise to see Newcastle fans fancying a more attacking emphasis with Christian Atsu (71%). The Ghanaian winger continues to impress whenever he gets a chance and if there is to be any chance of a permanent move, he must surely be due to get a run of games.
The absence of Isaac Hayden does leave a gap to fill and obviously the supporters don’t see Jack Colback (17%) as the answer.
Each player and percentage of Newcastle fans who chose them in their team v Aston Villa:
99% Ciaran Clark
99% Jonjo Shelvey
99% Matt Ritchie
98% Dwight Gayle
92% DeAndre Yedlin
85% Karl Darlow
79% Paul Dummett
78% Jamaal Lascelles
78% Mohamed Diame
71% Christian Atsu
33% Ayoze Perez
32% Isaac Hayden
31% Yoan Gouffran
24% Chancel Mbemba
22% Aleksandar Mitrovic
18% Grant Hanley
17% Jack Colback
17% Achraf Lazaar
11% Daryl Murphy
10% Rob Elliot
3% Massadio Haidara
2% Matz Sels
2% Sammy Ameobi
2% Jesus Gamez