Here is the predicted Newcastle team v Wigan.
On Saturday it appeared clear that Rafa Benitez went with his very strongest team to get back on the winning trail against Birmingham.
The United boss had eight days after the Forest game to prepare for that one but I don’t see him making great changes tonight, despite it coming in the middle of a run of three matches in a week.
The likes of Gamez, Aarons and Elliot are all certain to be out, whilst Jack Colback is also expected to be still unavailable with an eye problem – but Ayoze Perez is fit to play after a fever ruled him out on Saturday.
I foresee two changes to Rafa’s team selection, though with minimal, if any, weakening of the team.
I can see DeAndre Yedlin getting the nod over Vurnon Anita tonight, purely to give them each a share of the first team action, as Rafa clearly feels comfortable playing either at right-back.
Then on the wing, I wouldn’t be surprised either if Christian Atsu is given a game playing in front of Yedlin, with Matt Ritchie dropping to the bench.
The Scotsman was back to something that resembled his best but Atsu also looked sharp when given 20+ minutes off the bench and the Manager may want to give him a game.
Rafa could well bring Ayoze Perez in now he is back fit but surely the smart money will be on Mohamed Diame staying in the eleven – a chance to build on his surprisingly excellent return to form on Saturday and of course, he is also returning to his old club tonight.
Also on the bench against Birmingham were Mitovic, Sels, Tiote, Mbemba and Lazaar – I see little chance of any of them being selected unless someone is carrying a knock.
Predicted Newcastle team v Wigan:
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