Who do you think should be in the Newcastle team v Southampton?
With only 48 hours to go until football proper returns, at least on paper it looks like United have a good few more options (at least up front/attacking midfield) than was the case only a few months ago.
However, I think fitness is going to be a big issue in terms of impacting on Sunday’s starting eleven.
Whilst the likes of Dummett, Cabella, Riviere and Tiote all appeared at Newcastle’s open training session on Tuesday, it looks guaranteed that none of those will be considered at this stage of their recovery from injury.
Likewise, I see next weekend at Swansea as a more likely day for Mitrovic to make his first start, as is the case with Chancel Mbemba – or even later for him to get the new defender up to speed.
However, I think Mitrovic is all but certain to come off the bench against Southampton, as is the case with Siem de Jong, a player who is still struggling in terms of looking totally fit.
The circus surrounding Fabricio Coloccini has came to some kind of conclusion hopefully, with the announcement yesterday that he had signed an extended contract and would remain captain.
However, despite Steve McClaren admitting that Coloccini has trained throughout the summer, I still find it hard to believe that he will suddenly start against the Saints after not playing a single minute in the seven friendlies. Plus Pelle is a very decent target man so McClaren may see benefits anyway of sticking with Williamson and Taylor for this one.
That leaves basically the team that has taken shape in the friendlies since the return from America, with the likes of Anita and Obertan also likely to keep their places in the team to the bemusement of many fans. McClaren has already stated that the club are not going to rush Rolando Aarons into a regular spot at this stage of his development.
I predict the line-up and formation below, although this is what I think Steve McClaren will go with, rather than what I would choose…
To create the image above I 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 the teams you put up with our 15k+ 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 Southampton.
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.