Here is the predicted Newcastle team v Ipswich that I think Rafa Benitez will choose for Monday afternoon at Portman Road.
A cruel finish to Friday’s match saw one of the best performances of the season rewarded by only one point.
Despite battering Leeds, a combination of poor finishing and some inspired last ditch defending by visiting keeper and centre-backs kept Garry Monk’s team in the game at only 1-0 down when it should have been four or five.
Then the sucker punch as Lascelles went missing and others such as Diame also deserted their posts, Chris Wood scoring.
My feeling is that with almost a full first team squad to choose from, Rafa Benitez was always going to use that squad fully with two Easter matches in such quick succession.
Aarons, Gayle and almost certainly Clark as well, will be sitting out today, but I expect the United boss to put fresh legs in place of half of those outfield starters on Friday night.
Earlier in the season Rafa has shown a liking for swapping his front two when getting games in quick succession, so I think we will see Murphy and Diame, in place of Mitrovic and Perez.
Perez continued his poor form but Mitrovic did show improvement, though maybe he will more influence as an impact sub today as he’s not the most agile/fittest to start with.
Gouffran also offered little against Leeds and recent times have seen him and Christian Atsu sharing that left side role anyway, so no surprise if we see the Ghanaian international given another chance as time runs out on him impressing enough to get a permanent move.
Isaac Hayden was superb on Friday but was out on his feet when subbed, so very difficult to see Rafa running the risk of another injury by asking him to start again this afternoon. It won’t be popular but it looks nailed on that Jack Colback will be the one to start alongside Shelvey in the middle.
Can’t see much changing with the defence but despite Vurnon Anita turning in one of his better games against Leeds, I think DeAndre Yedlin will get a game now fully fit, hopefully building on what has looked a promising and dangerous partnership on that right side.
Chancel Mbemba looked far better against Leeds after a couple of poor/average games after being recalled and his pace will ensure he stays in the side, especially with Ciaran Clark surely not being considered until the Preston match at the earliest in seven days time.
I haven’t included it in the team below but I wouldn’t put it past Rafa Benitez throwing us another curve ball by giving Grant Hanley a game in place of Jamaal Lascelles.
Still struggling for form, the Newcastle Captain totally lost Chris Wood for that Leeds goal and the United boss may push the button now.
My predicted Rafa Benitez Newcastle team v Ipswich:
To create the image above, John 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.
Go to the NUFC team selector now and choose and share your Newcastle team v Ipswich.
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