Here is the predicted Newcastle team v Preston.

Rafa Benitez confirmed at his Monday lunchtime press conference, that fans can expect to see a significant number of changes to the team that beat Ipswich 3-0 in Saturday.

The United boss says that this is because he wants to use his full squad and that he needs ‘fresh legs’ to enable his team to play with the same ‘high intensity’.

Having got his team so well positioned in the Championship after another five game winning run, I can’t see Rafa taking any chances in advance of travelling to in-form Preston next weekend – the Lancashire side having just beaten both Norwich and Huddersfield.

So I fancy a whole raft of changes for what could be a near full house, the club having confirmed on Monday lunchtime that over forty thousand tickets have already been sold.

My starting point was to bring in all seven players who were on the bench on Saturday against Ipswich.

Which means that Sels, Mbemba, Anita, Hayden, Atsu, Diame and Mitrovic all come in – plus I have also found places for Achraf Lazaar to get some valuable game time, as well as Grant Hanley.

This team below sees only two goal striker Ayoze Perez and Jack Colback stay in after Saturday.

This must be a nailed on game for Shelvey to be protected, with a more defensive Colback/Hayden partnership.

However, this will help to balance an attacking left side with Lazaar/Atsu combining.

Mitrovic and Perez both scored in the last game they started together and a repeat of that 6-0 QPR scoreline would be very welcome.

I wouldn’t be surprised though to see a very strong bench…just in case.

newcastle team v preston

To create the image above, Ryan Williamson used the NUFC team selector.

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