This is my Newcastle team v Manchester United to take the pitch next Saturday.

A daunting task, as only Manchester City stand above their city rivals.

Newcastle have only one win in their last six games now and have lost their last two, without scoring a goal.

The Magpies are badly need of a lift and I think with one or two inspirational changes they can get a result at Old Trafford.

It looks as though injury is going to deprive Rafa Benitez of the likes of Jamaal Lascelles, Mikel Merino, and Christian Atsu.

However, this can also help produce opportunity for others.

Defensively, Newcastle have continued to look decent overall, although one position does stand out. Javier Manquillo has really struggled and surely Chancel Mbemba deserves a chance to come back in.

Two of Newcastle’s four wins came in the quartet of Premier League games he started and the DR Congo defender can help deal with the Red Devils attacking options.

Shelvey and Hayden seem to pick themselves in Merino’s enforced absence but ahead of them I would love to see some positive changes.

Matt Ritchie obviously stays in and I though Dwight Gayle did relatively well on his return against Bournemouth, with these extra two weeks he should be now 100% fit.

Against the Cherries he played behind Joselu but for me it has to be time for Mitrovic to get a chance, scoring his ninth goal in the last 11 internationals against China on Friday, he can cause problems against Man Utd as he did in August 2015 not long after signing, almost winning the game but the woodwork denying him.

Jacob Murphy surely can’t start after looking way out of his depth so far, so with Atsu set to be missing with his injury sustained/worsened in Ghana, a chance to bring in the pace and energy of Rolando Aarons.

Mitrovic isn’t the best for movement but the trio of Ritchie, Gayle, and Aarons, can help compensate.

I think this team gives the necessary energy levels and the chance of a goal going forward, whilst still retaining Rafa’s reliance on a solid looking defensive shape.

Here’s hoping.

My Newcastle team v Manchester United:

newcastle team v manchester united

To create the image above I 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 22k 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 Manchester United.

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.

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  • Mike Adam

    My thoughts exactly Dale!!! It is not radical at all. We aren’t scoring goals, and are only 5 points above a relegation spot! Time to try something, whether Rafa does is another question! Mitro and Aarons should be given a chance to see if they can add something to the offense. I agree that Mbemba should be back at left back as well!

  • Gallowgate Dave

    I’d like to see Mbemba back in the team, Aarons given a chance and whilst I don’t think he’s the answer Mitro deserves a shot after yet another International goal as Joselu is hard working but couldn’t hit a cow’s posterior with a banjo. We all know this team will never happen though and all 3 of those players won’t start.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    I can`t see us getting anything at Manchester no matter who we put on the field of play, add to that Rafa will go 4-2-3-1.
    i think we`ll be in the bottom 6 by Christmas because the quality isn`t there Lads,
    we`re a championship squad playing the Big boys

    • Mike Adam

      Many of the boys are really not that big!

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        Yeah, come back at Xmas & we`ll find out

        • Mike Adam

          That will be because of the schedule we have between now and Christmas. We will be playing some of the “real” big boys! What I meant is we lost the opportunity for points against the little boys like Huddersfield, Brighton, Burnley, and Bournemouth. We will be in trouble because we didn’t take advantage of teams that are no better than us. We have only played one big boy so far.

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            that`s correct, you have to take points off the teams you quoted, we didn`t & it spells trouble

          • Mike Adam

            Yes it does!

    • HarryHype59

      We simply don’t score enough goals and as such will continued to slide down the table! I said in August I would take 17th position and I would be happy simply just to survive with what is a Championship side!

    • I’m curious, how will you set the team up and what tactics would you employ with the squad in hand?

  • Paul Patterson

    Gayle won’t play in the hole, Mitrovic won’t start and Manquillo will be at left back.
    Miles off. Expect Diame and Perez to start

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      I think Gayle will start, the rest Mitro, Mbemba, Aarons wont

      • Phil Yare

        aarons is great when he plays but could even get injured in the warm up.

        • MichaelMaximusMoose


  • Phil Yare

    with the players available i would go with something very similar. i’d probs shove gayle right up top.
    had atsu been available i would have got him and yedlin as a pair of wingbacks to move richie more central left side of a 3 with shelvey and hayden.

    one things for sure, if we play perez and hoselu we may as well award them at 3-0 win and not risk injury and suspensions

  • Phil Yare

    and for those who think we are no better off putting mitrovic in for joselu – if joselu played for serbia , would he be one of the leading goal scorers in world cup qualification?
    better to swap absolute dross for average

    there’s also been people slagging gayle off which i find astonishing, he was our top scorer by a mile last season. only newcastle could leave out the top scorer and player of the season (clark) without getting anyone better

  • Steve Pearce

    As you are not Rafa Benitez and you will not select the team this is completely pointless and I suspect you are using one of Graham Porter’s many aliases in order to make his usual dross more popular. Nice try Porter but you are still shyte!

    • GeordieZebra

      There’s only one Rafa Benitez and if we stopped talking about selections because we can’t select the team then what’s the point?! Football is not just 90 mins on a Saturday. Pipe down. If you’re not interested, don’t read it.

    • Oldgeordie

      Grow up

  • Mrkgw

    Looks a decent selection to me. Hopefully Rafa will go with it.

  • Toon Fan

    Not a bad looking side, but while there’s always a chance we could pinch something, it’s highly unlikely we’ll come away with anything from OT regardless of selection. It’s the Bournemouth’s at home, the Brighton’s, Burnley’s and Huddersfield’s away we should be looking to attack and pick up points…let’s hope Rafa gets it right the following week against Watford, it’s shaping up to be a biggie..

  • Andy Mac

    Our best chance at OT is to get hold of a double decker and hope we can get it through security !

  • Dennis Tate

    Team selection looks good against MU.
    Got to have players to get into the faces of MU from the start, and I think Mitrovic and Gayle could upset them.
    Look how many games have we lost in the final 10 mins this season through the lack of concentration, this also needs addressing.
    Lets get at them and give the travelling supporters some joy and shove it in Southgates face and Southern England.

  • GToon

    Our best hope is to play all of our 25 man squad on the pitch at the same time. I sense this could be their biggest win if the season. We have a manager they will be up for beating and a half fit team on the slide. Oh dear. ☹️

  • A Bit Inept but I don’t really understand football, should have been the name of the article.
    Against Bournemouth many of you saw why 4-4-2 or even 4-3-3 wouldn’t work for us – because we don’t have the needed creative players and proper delivery inside the box. Joselu and Gayle got even less service, because without a n. 10 to link up play we can’t get the ball in the box often enough. On top of that, we got nobody who can come in from the bench and make an impact, in fact, every time Murphy has come on he’s actually lost the ball and slowed down play. I see people pick on Diame, but he at least broke play and won a few tackles/balls. Far more than Shelvey has done the last 3 games(apart from some shots straight at the keeper from distance and lunging himself with reckless tackles that could have sent him off again)
    The way I see it, our only hope is to put Shelvey or Ritchie in that n. 10 role and get Hayden and Diame behind him with 3 in the back. For me both Hayden is very effective as a ball-winning midfielder and Diame still has that stride to carry the ball up to Shelvey/Ritchie in that n. 10 role. I also believe Perez could be deployed as a winger alongside Aarons(Atsu will probably miss the United game).
    We may pick on Perez a lot, but currently we got nobody better to play either on the wing, second striker or n. 10 if he needs to.

  • IAmYTM

    Something I’d like to see (possibly this isn’t the right game for experiments) if Rafa insists on his 4231 formation, is Hayden and Mbemba in the holding midfield role while pushing Shelvey up to the number 10, I think this would offer more defensive stability and likelihood of releasing Gayle (whom I expect will start against man u for his pace in the counter attack) with the range of passing Shelvey has under his belt.

    I’m no Rafa but I DID win the Prem with Hartlepool in football manager 2006 *puts on sunglasses* don’t tell Sunderland they’d likely come calling with my resume.