Here is the predicted Newcastle team v Ipswich that I think Rafa Benitez will choose for Monday afternoon at Portman Road.

A cruel finish to Friday’s match saw one of the best performances of the season rewarded by only one point.

Despite battering Leeds, a combination of poor finishing and some inspired last ditch defending by visiting keeper and centre-backs kept Garry Monk’s team in the game at only 1-0 down when it should have been four or five.

Then the sucker punch as Lascelles went missing and others such as Diame also deserted their posts, Chris Wood scoring.

My feeling is that with almost a full first team squad to choose from, Rafa Benitez was always going to use that squad fully with two Easter matches in such quick succession.

Aarons, Gayle and almost certainly Clark as well, will be sitting out today, but I expect the United boss to put fresh legs in place of half of those outfield starters on Friday night.

Earlier in the season Rafa has shown a liking for swapping his front two when getting games in quick succession, so I think we will see Murphy and Diame, in place of Mitrovic and Perez.

Perez continued his poor form but Mitrovic did show improvement, though maybe he will more influence as an impact sub today as he’s not the most agile/fittest to start with.

Gouffran also offered little against Leeds and recent times have seen him and Christian Atsu sharing that left side role anyway, so no surprise if we see the Ghanaian international given another chance as time runs out on him impressing enough to get a permanent move.

Isaac Hayden was superb on Friday but was out on his feet when subbed, so very difficult to see Rafa running the risk of another injury by asking him to start again this afternoon. It won’t be popular but it looks nailed on that Jack Colback will be the one to start alongside Shelvey in the middle.

Can’t see much changing with the defence but despite Vurnon Anita turning in one of his better games against Leeds, I think DeAndre Yedlin will get a game now fully fit, hopefully building on what has looked a promising and dangerous partnership on that right side.

Chancel Mbemba looked far better against Leeds after a couple of poor/average games after being recalled and his pace will ensure he stays in the side, especially with Ciaran Clark surely not being considered until the Preston match at the earliest in seven days time.

I haven’t included it in the team below but I wouldn’t put it past Rafa Benitez throwing us another curve ball by giving Grant Hanley a game in place of Jamaal Lascelles.

Still struggling for form, the Newcastle Captain totally lost Chris Wood for that Leeds goal and the United boss may push the button now.

My predicted Rafa Benitez Newcastle team v Ipswich:

newcastle team v ipswich

To create the image above, John 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 Ipswich.

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.

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])

  • Jimblag23

    Please no Colback. Please. Please!

  • Mayor Vaughn

    0-3 today, doddle.

    • Jezza

      Oh yes, great prediction. It was a doddle today alright, just not for us.

      • Mayor Vaughn

        Haha i never was any good at predictions

  • relaxed

    Hopefully by the Summer Colback and Diame will be long gone then we will be rid of the liability + the waste of time for good

  • hetonmag

    Hopefully Hayden will be OK because I just don’t trust Colback, also I think a lot of fan’s went overboard with Mitro’s performance on Friday night he is their to score goals that’s his job, so for me it’s Murphy up front. GOOD LUCK LADS

  • nevfur

    Good points but I think Rafa is too cautious to make that many changes. All are quite possible and believable but can’t see all happening in one go. Desperately hoping Hayden plays.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    we have 4 games left not 14 Hayden must start, we cant go [email protected]@king around at this stage of the season. get the points in the BAG

  • Leicester Mag

    The biggest risk of all is playing the Ginger maestro. As Friday showed he a liability plain and simple. Why drop Anita? Never been a huge fan but he was excellent vs Leeds. Not the long term answer but I’d play him today. Like or not Gouffran will play and as awful as Perez was Diame managed in 5 minutes to show why he’s not the answer. Why heaven forbid start with the team that played well on Friday?

  • 1957

    Don’t be surprised to see Hanley come in for Mbemba

    • Andy Mac

      Or Lascelles ?

  • Andy Mac

    Whenever i look at the line up/formation that Rafa favours, I have to ask why he didnt fill that position just behind the striker with someone a little more talented than Diame ? It’s a critical role for that formation yet we struggle to fill it adequately every week

  • rory

    We played the best we’ve played in a couple of months on Friday, why all the changes? Colback in for Hayden will severely weaken the team. Don’t understand how Dummett maintains his place as well, what’s happened to Lazaar? Mitro is better than Murphy in my opinion and Murphy doesn’t work well with Diame. Would bring Atsu in for Gouffran and Yedlin if he’s fit enough, that’s it. Perez is still a weakness but who else have we got in that role, Diame’s been shocking? Hoping we can see some of the Perez/Mitrovic magic that we saw at QPR earlier on in the season.

  • rory

    So much for that, neither are playing and Mbemba taken out as well. At least Hayden is playing but it’s so dissapointing that both Mitro and Mbemba have been taken out. Rotation is fine for a while, but you need someone to have a run in the team, no one will improve if not. Wasting 2 talented individuals careers.

  • jack

    Rafa, has lost the plot , why so many changes , especially mitrovich , why will.he not play two strikers , Diame a waste of time ,goufran too

  • Anita kick up the Hoop

    Shef Wed, Leeds and today .. all points dropped due to decisions made by Raffa the Jaffa .. will the press or fans finally hold him accountable? Unlikely.
    Substitutes today were beyond belief… and in a game where we had to win and were being out footballed by a Mick McCarthey side who belong in the bottom reaches of a shocking division Raffa waits until 10 minutes from time to bring on another forward after first replacing Ritchie and Yedlin with a former striker turned defensive winger who came on to play central and a right back who hasn’t played for best part of the season and is three days older than grass! … did Pardew and Raffa have a brain transplant?

  • Stick Plant

    I just don’t get it. That team selection was a shocker!