Here is the predicted Newcastle team v Reading that I think Rafa Benitez will choose for tonight’s match.

Rafa Benitez aims to pull off the third of what would be a remarkable hat-trick of away wins within seven days.

A win at Reading would mean three of the top five had been beaten on the road and it would also create a new all-time record for NUFC away wins in a season, Rafa currently tied with Kevin Keegan’s 1992/93 vintage on 13 away victories each.

Rafa Benitez has confirmed that both Hayden and Aarons are still unavailable, whilst at the same time revealing Aleksandar Mitrovic hadn’t travelled either.

However, the United boss says there is no injury involved and it is simply a case of no room for the Serbian in his squad.

Dwight Gayle looked sharp when off the bench against Huddersfield and he looks a great bet to come in for Daryl Murphy, especially with the 33 year old perhaps needing the rest and more effective tonight as an impact sub.

Elsewhere, I don’t see any great departures from what has proved to be a real away day winning formula.

Whilst Diame and Colback haven’t been very effective I think in Rafa’s eyes they still do a lot of donkey work and perform roles that he hasn’t got a suitable replacement for. Isaac Hayden’s absence seems to confirm Colback’s selection, whilst Perez generally struggles away from home and is more likely to contribute if needed off the bench.

Elsewhere across the midfield, Ritchie was United’s star man at Huddersfield and both he and Shelvey look certainties to start, whilst maybe Yoan Gouffran will get his turn ahead of Cristian Atsu tonight.

At the back, Yedlin for Vurnon Anita is the only likely change, the Dutchman getting his first game on Saturday since January’s injury at Brentford and the pace of the USA international given a run out in place of the composure Anita can usually give.

My predicted Rafa Benitez Newcastle team v Reading:

newcastle team v reading

To create the image above, Sam 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 20k+ 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.

Reading v Newcastle Match Betting:

All  Reading v Newcastle betting HERE

NUFC to win 2-1 8/1Gayle to score in both halves 7/1NUFC to score 3 or more goals 10/3

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(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])