This is the predicted Newcastle team v Liverpool for Saturday’s match.

Rafa Benitez revealed on Friday that Jonjo Shelvey wouldn’t be risked as they await results of a scan on his knee, despite the midfielder wanting to play.

The United boss also stating that Islam Slimani won’t play either, as he still hasn’t joined in with full training, instead working with physios in the gym.

However, both Dwight Gayle and Matt Ritchie are available after injury concerns earlier in the week.

With Slimani injured and Dwight Gayle scoring twice last weekend and looking sharp, it would be a surprise if Gayle doesn’t play that same role.

Ayoze Perez continues to struggle in behind the main striker but until Slimani is fit, options are limited as to who Rafa could play in the two most forward roles.

With a goal against Man Utd and assist v Bournemouth, Ritchie is looking more lively and productive, so will surely continue on the right.

On the left though, I fancy Rafa might make a change.

Kenedy has done well since arriving but last weekend was easily his poorest game so far and I think he may instead be used as an impact sub this time. I would put Murphy into the team but I think Rafa Benitez will go with Christian Atsu.

Shelvey’s absence appears to make it a choice between Isaac Hayden and Mikel Merino to partner Mohamed Diame.

The smart money will be on Merino coming in and helping the team move forward, with surely Hayden and Diame being too defensive.

Dubravka will make his third start for Newcastle with four points from his first three matches, whilst unless there are injuries, the same back four will be set to play again.

They, like the rest of the team, did well until those final 10/15 minutes at Bournemouth and Rafa & Jamaal Lascelles will have them wound up for this one to hopefully ensure no more cheap goals.

A lot of fans would like to see him included but at the same time it may be a question of who he would replace.

The predicted Newcastle team v Liverpool:

newcastle team v liverpool

Liverpool v Newcastle Match Betting:

Liverpool win 2/9 Draw 6/1Newcastle win 14/1

Gayle to score first goal 11/1NUFC to win 2-0 110/1NUFC to have more corners 6/1

All Liverpool v Newcastle match betting HERE

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  • Paul Patterson

    Hayden will start instead of Merino and Kenedy instead of Atsu.

    • Leazes.

      Are you blessed with the gift of prophecy?

      • Paul Patterson

        No, I just feel that Rafa will want a bit more power and experience in the middle and Merino doesn’t have that yet. Plus Kenedy is a class above Atsu or anything else we have to be fair.

    • Peaky Magpie

      Yup,although it won’t happen I would have Ritchie behind Gayle and Murphy on the right….not gonna happen though.

      • Leazes.

        I really don’t think its going to matter…. but you never know.

        • Peaky Magpie

          Probably not,I’m about 55 miles from Liverpool and the weather is bloody awful….I’m clutching at straws but I’m hoping their forwards don’t fancy the cold much…..

          • Leazes.

            Well after attending this fixture on ten occasions I’d say we don’t fancy Anfield much…… but you never know.

            ….alright I do know, but I don’t know where the optimism comes from….. stupidity I think.

  • ghostrider

    I can see Rafa going with a 5 man defence.

    Probably something like this.

    …………………….Dubravka

    Yedlin………….Lejeune…..Lascelles…..Clark/Mbemba………Dummett.

    Ritchie……………Diame………………..Hayden…………..Manquillo

    …………………………..Joselu

    Subs: Darlow…Gayle…..Merino…..Atsu…..Clark/Mbemba…..Kenedy….Perez.

    • Mrkgw

      I take it that your Joselu inclusion is a joke? I hope so! Manquillo? Where is Dummett?
      Clark?

      • ghostrider

        No, Joselu isn’t a joke. It’s Rafa’s joke but Joselu is a grafter and Rafa knows he’ll do his defensive work rather than the opposite.
        Manquillo is another that would be used as pace for defending rather than risking any attack.
        Kenedy is a part game player who is a happy attacker but a moody no go chicken chaser.
        Hayden will be a stifler like Diame and like the rest.
        All in aid of parking that bus and letting all the tyres down and bedding it all in with concrete, with the odde pop up from behind with a pea shooter over the half way line, then back in line.

        As for Dummett, he’s there at left back where he deserves to be.

        • Mrkgw

          Ok, Fair ‘kop’, excuse the pun.

        • Paul Patterson

          Do you actually suggest we go and attack Liverpool?

          • ghostrider

            No. I suggest we balance it all out and actually play them at football and not sit back for 90% of the game.

      • Damon Horner

        I think Joselu/Rafa is going under the radar a bit. He’s only started twice in 2018 and appeared just once in Feb and that was from from the bench. I wonder if Rafa has lost patience

        • Mrkgw

          Yes, I just wish that Rafa had farmed out Joselu and not Mitrovic who has scored again today.

  • Mrkgw

    Yet another goal from Mitrovic. Well done Rafa – inspired move that was. Not.