This is the predicted Newcastle team v Everton and formation.
Whilst Newcastle ended up losing against Leicester, I think Rafa Benitez will be fairly pleased with how his formation worked against a very dangerous attacking side.
He will be less pleased with the way individual mistakes undermined the performance, helping to gift the three points to the visitors.
I think it is how many changes Rafa makes, rather than a case of whether or not he will swap his team around.
Both Christian Atsu and Jamaal Lascelles must be certainties to start.
Atsu did well when coming on as a sub on Saturday and I fancy he will replace Jacob Murphy. The former Norwich player was better than Matt Ritchie against Leicester but it would be a massive shout to drop the Scottish international at this point, on a night when the United boss will want as much experience on the pitch as possible.
So for me it will be Atsu and Ritchie on the wings, whilst I also expect Lascelles to come in at the back as well against Everton.
Rafa has once again said that his captain was close to starting on Saturday and with Florian Lejeune struggling, it looks obvious to pair Clark and Lascelles again.
Darlow should have done better with the first Leicester goal and Manquillo and Yedlin weren’t great either. However, I think Benitez will stick with them and hope that Lascelles can restore some order and confidence to the defence, against an attacking force which will be nowhere near as good as Leicester’s.
Up front I think Rafa will be fairly happy with how Joselu and Gayle worked together. A goal for each of them and whilst the Spaniard isn’t the greatest, the manager doesn’t really have any positive alternatives. Although the Mitro fan club would disagree on that one.
The centre of midfield is a tricky one.
Merino was below par on Saturday whilst Isaac Hayden lost possession far too many times.
Left out of the last three games, Jonjo Shelvey is clearly not flavour of the month for his manager, but for a must win game can Rafa Benitez really afford to leave a player out who can keep possession and will take the ball in any circumstances.
A game where Newcastle must go for the win, let’s hope Rafa’s team can get their first win in over seven weeks.
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