Nine changes in this Newcastle team v Cheltenham – Sticking with 4-2-3-1
Here is my suggested Newcastle team v Cheltenham that can make it three wins in seven days.
It is obvious Rafa Benitez will make changes but the question is, just how many?
I think the Newcastle will be keen to stick with his favoured 4-2-3-1 system and get the squad increasingly drilled in the way he wants them to play.
However, I fancy Rafa could make as many as nine changes to the eleven that started at Bristol City.
I think Mohamed Diame will start once again and get another hour or so of game time, both player and manager indicating the midfielder needs to build up his fitness to get closer to being 100%.
Apart from Diame, I believe Jack Colback might be the only other one kept on the pitch to give a bit of continuity in the engine room.
Rafa has already indicated he will be leaving out Ciaran Clark and a few others to protect them after knocks on Saturday, whilst it is also widely reported that the players (Sels, Hayden, Gayle and Anita) who have started all four matches so far, will also be rested.
Obviously Newcastle fans will be desperate to get through to the next round but they will be a lot more understanding of wholesale changes, as compared to what happened in previous years.
Obviously promotion is such a massive priority, whilst Newcastle also have such a massive squad of players with very little to choose between them in terms of ability, it would be daft not to give others a game and the level of the selected eleven shouldn’t drop that much.
A lot could depend on which players, if any, are on the brink of moving out – with Saivet, Gouffran and Riviere rumoured to be set for loan moves. Tiote and Janmaat of course being another two to be reportedly wanting to leave.
My suggested Newcastle team v Cheltenham:
To create the image above, Ryan Williamson used the NUFC team selector.
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