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Predicted Rafa Benitez Newcastle team v Huddersfield looks nailed on

3 years ago

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

Under previous managers such as Pardew and McClaren, it became very predictable when guessing at the starting eleven, players having it far too easy as a small squad and weak managers meant the same players were pretty much guaranteed their places in the team, no matter what form they were in.

Under Rafa Benitez it has been anything but that, reputations count for nothing and in his two years at St James Park, Benitez hasn’t hesitated to drop anybody if it was the right move – the likes of Wijnaldum, Shelvey and captain Jamaal Lascelles just three of those to be left out and given a wake up call.

This season has been more of the same, in the most part, despite relatively few injury problems the Newcastle boss has chopped and changed, or ‘rotated’ as it tends to be called now.

However, recently, I think we have seen a shift, with Rafa Benitez settling on a first team that will take us through to the end of the season, changes kept to a minimum.

With players such as Joselu, Manquillo, Merino and Hayden, rarely getting a game since the turn of the year, Rafa began the process of working towards a regular first choice, Atsu another one to fall by the wayside with Kenedy’s introduction.

Then in what could well prove to have been the key result and performance of the season, we had a brave selection in the win over Manchester United.

Florian Lejeune replaced the injured Ciaran Clark, whilst new loan signing Martin Dubravka was thrown in for a tough Newcastle debut.

The eleven players who started that day, look to be now the manager’s first eleven for the foreseeable.

As you will see from the teams below, the same starting eleven against Man Utd, also started against both Bournemouth and Southampton, Newcastle picking up seven points from nine, though that should have been all nine if not for throwing away two points against Bournemouth.

The exception was the game against Liverpool, where similar to Man City in January, the manager picked a different more defensive team/formation to try and sneak a result, or at least dod a bit of damage limitation. Merino came  in for the injured Shelvey but the pace of Atsu and Murphy replacing Ritchie and Perez, in order to hassle the opposition and add more pace on the occasional counter-attack.

Against Huddersfield on Saturday, I would be amazed if the team is not the one shown below, the one that got those wins over Man Utd and Southampton.

The only two doubts about that selection seemingly settled in the last 24 hours.

Tuesday seeing Islam Slimani making his playing return after 10 weeks out.

If he had bounced straight in and looked on top form then maybe Ayoze Perez would have been instantly under threat BUT after 10 weeks of no football, Slimani looked to have poor movement and far from match fitness.

So surely no chance of him making the team and then with it being 15 days until he could next play after Huddersfield (away game against Leicester he can’t play on 7 April), I can’t see him even being used as a sub on Saturday unless Newcastle were in desperate need of a goal.

Meanwhile Matt Ritchie became a doubt for Saturday when dropping out of the Scotland squad through injury but Sky Sports this morning confirmed he was back training with the Newcastle squad and fine for Huddersfield.

Last four Rafa team selections:

Newcastle v Southampton – 10 March 2018:

Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett, Ritchie, Shelvey, Diame, Kenedy, Perez, Gayle

Newcastle v Liverpool – 3 March 2018

Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett, Murphy, Merino, Diame, Kenedy, Atsu, Gayle

Newcastle v Bournemouth – 24 February 2018

Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett, Ritchie, Shelvey, Diame, Kenedy, Perez, Gayle

Newcastle v Man Utd – 11 February 2018

Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett, Ritchie, Shelvey, Diame, Kenedy, Perez, Gayle

The predicted Newcastle team v Huddersfield:

Newcastle v Huddersfield Match Betting:

Newcastle win 3/4Draw 13/5Huddersfield win 22/5

Ritchie to score first goal 15/2Gayle to score and NUFC win 1-0 17/1NUFC win 2-0 7/1

All Newcastle v Huddersfield match betting HERE

New customers to BetVictor qualify for up to a £40 welcome bonus in free bets.


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