This is the predicted Newcastle team v Burnley for tonight’s match.
A game where you have to fancy that whoever, if anybody, scores first, then they have an overwhelming chance of going on to take the three points.
The game at Turf Moor was similar, only a 74th minute Hendrick goal dividing the teams in a poor match. That game actually kicking off Newcastle’s dreadful run of one point from nine games.
I think Rafa Benitez has fancied playing with three/five at the back for some time and against Man City and Chelsea he went with that formation.
Those games saw the system used in a more negative way with the opposition expected to dominate possession but I think now, Rafa Benitez has at last got the players available to start and make it work in a more positive sense – getting the best from the players he has available.
In DeAndre Yedlin and loan signing Kenedy, Rafa has surely two players who are made to play the wing-back roles. Both with loads of pace and also the pair of them better going forward then defensively.
By playing the three centre-backs it allows Rafa to give him the extra attacking options. The return of Paul Dummett also helping to make this formation work.
He is a player who is far better suited to defending than going forward and has done well since his return, he can sit in at the back with Ciaran Clark and Jamaal Lascelles, to hopefully give a real solid defensive foundation.
Newcastle are set to make a number of loan moves in and out on deadline day and it has been revealed that Rob Elliot has a back problem, which has helped to finalise the decision to bring in Martin Dubravka from Sparta Prague, with Freddie Woodman set to be on the bench tonight before then completing a loan move to Aberdeen.
In a surprising twist, Mohamed Diame has arguably become Newcastle’s best central midfielder based on recent games, he was given a shift off at Chelsea and I expect him to return.
Mikel Merino has gradually been recovering from his back injury and must be close to being 100% fit now, with Shelvey not performing, the Spaniard is set to come in and try to get Newcastle going in the middle of the pitch.
Up front, I think Rafa Benitez could well give Joselu and Gayle another try together, with hopefully the wing-backs and home advantage helping the strikers to get more/better service.
Matt Ritchie was tried in a central role behind a lone striker at Chelsea, just as Christian Atsu was at Stoke.
It was tough going at Chelsea but if Rafa goes with the wing-backs I think Matt Ritchie will be the choice to play an inside role, especially with his workrate hopefully able to help win that middle of the pitch contest.
Burnley have won none of their last seven games and are set to be missing up to eight first team squad players through injury, this is surely a match where Newcastle have to press high from the start and with the likes of Kenedy, Yedlin, Ritchie, Gayle and Diame they can force Burnley into mistakes in their own half and get on top.
The predicted Newcastle team v Burnley:
Newcastle v Burnley Match Betting:
All Newcastle v Burnley betting HERE
New customers to BetVictor qualify for up to a £40 welcome bonus in free bets.