The Newcastle team v Liverpool has just been confirmed.

Two changes for Rafa, with Manquillo in for Mbemba and Shelvey for Hayden.

Hayden drops to the bench but no sign of Mbemba in the 18, so guessing he is injured.

Wijnaldum starts for Liverpool…

This is who Rafa Benitez starts with:

Elliot, Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Manquillo, Ritchie, Merino, Shelvey, Atsu, Perez, Joselu

and the Subs:

Darlow, Gamez, Lejeune, Diame, Hayden, Gayle, Murphy

Liverpool:

Mignolet, Gomez, Matip, Lovren, Moreno, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Coutinho, Salah, Mane, Sturridge

Substitutes:

Karius, Klavan, Milner, Can, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Firmino, Solanke

Compare Rafa’s side to the predicted one HERE and the one chosen collectively by Newcastle fans HERE.

Newcastle v Liverpool Match Betting:

All Newcastle v Liverpool betting HERE

Newcastle win 21/5Draw 29/10 Liverpool win 8/11

NUFC to score in both halves 7/2Ritchie to score 1st goal 19/2NUFC to lead at half-time 4/1

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  • steve

    Surely Mitrovic offers a better option than Diame

    • Alex

      Not in midfield, he doesn’t.

      • steve

        Hayden has us covered there.

        • Phildene

          Mbemba got injured last week so probs reason for no show

    • 1957

      Anyone is a better option than Slo Mo, surely Mbemba’s recent form should have at least got a place on the bench instead of Gamez although Benitez did buy Diame and Gamez so it should be no surprise

      • Mark Spark

        Your presuming the reason mbemba is dropped isnt because hes injured or had some issue during the week or has let his training effort drop but because Rafa is petty and is willing to lessen his chances of a win to prove something about one of his buys?

  • Alex

    Perez again????? Simply baffling.

    • Oldgeordie

      I have great respect for Rafa but I agree. What is he doing?

  • Dublintoon

    The mbemba situation is a shocker. What does the man have to do.

    • Mark Spark

      Whats shocking about it?the coaches and manager have seen him all week.Im sure they would love to have him able to contribute,the fact they dont suggests theres a problem.QED innit

      • Dublintoon

        Speculation about what may or may not be happening on the training ground is far from QED mate. Paul mcgrath never partook in training at all for about 5 years and he was on the pitch every week when fit because the quality there is what counts. Mbemba has done very little wrong and done everything to merit his place in the team again today

    • Mal

      He did go off injured last week at Brighton. Perhaps that’s the reason.

  • Jezza

    Looking at our starting eleven and Liverpool’s, the gulf in quality is frightening. Take any Liverpool player, put him in the Newcastle team and he’d be our best player. In contrast most of our players would struggle to get on the bench for Liverpool’s reserves. It’s men against boys today. I’d be over the moon with a draw but realistically that seems a bit too much to hope for.

    • Simon Ritter

      I wouldn’t want any of their back five replacing our goalkeeper/defenders, thank you very much. And Sturridge is a sicknote waiting to be delivered. Now watch him smash a hat-trick . . .

    • glassjawsh-got-banned

      I think that’s a bit hyperbolic. Liverlpool’s back line is awful. They’re on pace to concede 65 goals! (ie. the same we gave up in our relegation season. Not great, Bob). I’ll take Lescelles, Clark and Yedlin over Gomez, Lovren and Matip almost every single time.

  • toonterrier

    I reckon most of us would have been more than happy with a draw before the game so well done lads. Must win game against Southampton and then build on that to keep us in the top half.

    • Kev-82

      Since when does an away game in Southampton this early in the season equal a must win game?

      • Jezza

        Agreed. Our away record at Southampton is horrendous and a point there would be fine.