Here is the predicted Newcastle team v Sheffield Wednesday.
Ahead of the match we now know that Jonjo Shelvey will be missing for the next five games, starting on Boxing Day.
So who will be the 11 selected for Monday’s 7.45pm kick-off?
Jack Colback would probably be most likely to fill in but he has been out with a mystery eye problem and when Rafa Benitez spoke at his press conference, it didn’t sound likely that he would be available.
The United boss has also spoken about Cheick Tiote as a possibility to come in but I can’t believe he would seriously consider it. Tiote’s only Championship appearance was as a late sub at Aston Villa when he looked badly off the pace – over three months since then without a game will hardly have improved that.
I think the most likely option will be for Rafa to move Mohamed Diame back a little alongside Isaac Hayden, then potentially play Ayoze Perez in the more advanced position just behind Dwight Gayle. Diame will still be able to get forward but will have a little more defensive responsibility, which he should handle with his stamina and physicality.
If I had to guess at a more surprising selection, I could potentially see Ciaran Clark maybe asked to do a job in midfield which he has done in the past for Aston Villa.
On the wings, despite Christian Atsu getting a start against Burton, I still fancy Rafa to go with his usual Gouffran and Ritchie combination.
In defence, as usual the only guess (unless Rafa goes with Clark in midfield) is who plays at right-back, with Yedlin getting the shout last time at Burton and maybe keeping the shirt for what looks potentially the most difficult of the festive games.
To create the image above, Dale Thompson 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 Sheffield Wednesday.
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