The Newcastle team v West Brom has just been confirmed.

Rafa Benitez going for a fifth win in a row at home and a fifth win in the last six games overall.

The Newcastle boss able to choose from a full squad, with the exceptions of Mikel Merino and Christian Atsu.

Islam Slimani drops to the bench and Rafa goes back to Dwight Gayle partnering Ayoze Perez.

That is the only change.

Slimani drops to the bench and Joselu is back amongst the sub instead of Merino.

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

Subs:

Darlow, Clark, Manquillo, Hayden, Murphy, Joselu, Slimani

Compare Rafa’s side to the fans choice one here.

Newcastle v West Brom Match Betting with BetVictor:

Newcastle win 5/6 – Draw 5/2West Brom win 4/1

Ritchie to score first goal 19/2NUFC win 2-0 15/2NUFC to win both halves 15/4

All Newcastle v West Brom betting HERE



  • glassjawsh-got-banned

    Gayle could use a goal or two. It’d be a shot in the arm for his confidence.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      He`s making the runs & getting in the right positions, let`s hope the ball bounces kindly for him today

    • Foggy

      Hopefully Gayle won’t be here next season and Rafa has upgraded the position.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Surprised that Slimani isn`t starting, that`s what we got him for isn`t it.
    let`s hope last week was a one off from Perez.
    can`t see anything but a Newcastle win

    • thewildchimp

      I think it’s because Perez doesn’t know how to play with target men. He seems brilliant on the counters but absolutely useless when it comes to possession games. Gayle as well.

      • glassjawsh-got-banned

        Spot on. That’s also why Mitro is banging goals in for Fulham and not us. We don’t have the pieces to set him up.

        • Andy Mac

          Yet there’s nothing to prevent Rafa from playing Mitro with Kenedy out wide (as Sessegnon) and Ritchie/Murphy/Atsu (Piazon) out on the right ?

    • Rich Lawson

      Slimani should have been on from the start to muscle Evans etc and nod down balls for Gayle and take an early lead which they would not come back from

    • Rich Lawson

      As Slimani gets fitter he should be on or how do find out what he can do ? To late as a sub when we are on the back foot in the 2nd half.

  • thewildchimp

    Honestly, I don’t understand the merit of playing our strongest team against rock-bottom WBA… Surely one of the subs could have gotten the chance as a starter. Yes, it is not good for discipline to play weaker player just for the sake of playing them, then again – it’s equally bad to never play them. No wonder 4+ years contracts are much rarer nowadays. Nobody wants to risk being frozen in place with a sudden managerial change.

    • Clarko

      “Honestly, I don’t understand the merit of playing our strongest team against rock-bottom WBA”

      Because of the difference between finishing in 10th compared to 11th, the merit payment alone is worth ~£2m.

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        A couple of nights in the casino for the Pie Man

        • thewildchimp

          Exactly. Some pocket money for the holiday.

      • glassjawsh-got-banned

        yep. for once our arithmetic works out the same clarko.

      • thewildchimp

        Or we could give some time to Mbemba and a few other clearly unwanted players and actually sell them for more than meagre 2-5m. Rafa has a good footballing head on his shoulders but he’s obviously not so good at doing business.

        • Clarko

          1) Playing one game is not going to add money to a price tag.

          2) Mbemba is an £8m-£10m defender.

          3) How does Benitez choosing to play Lejeune over Mbemba represent his business knowledge?

          4) Benitez is employed to win games, not run a business.

          5) You obviously have no knowledge of “football business” and how much more marketable a team that places in 10th is compared to team the places in 11th, in the bottom half.

          • thewildchimp

            1) Sissoko? To be fair, those were actually two games, where he played well and Pochettino watched.

            2)And will never rise in value unless played, only downgrade.

            3) Sigh… My evaluation is not based on just this single example but on the last two seasons. The fact that he made profit means nothing, because he hasn’t actually hired anyone expensive (not his fault, though).

            4) Fair enough. But, ultimately, it is his efforts that will decide how much our players will be sold for – he is in charge of marketing, it’s inadvertently comes with his job.

            5) Please… Unless you make a clause with the sponsors, mid-table positioning doesn’t mean much. Like Leicester are gonna make significantly more money than us because they are one position higher, and not because they have won the PL and have popular players… If you focus too much on the insignificant details, you are almost always gonna miss on the big things.

          • Clarko

            1) How many appearances did Sissoko make that seasons before he left? 39? How many has Mbemba made this season?

            2) Not true, market inflation, if he plays he may play badly decreasing his value, not that it matters because him featuring in the remaining fixtures won’t add to his value.

            3) No, your evaluation was based on that single example, because it was the only example you provided. You’re talking about business, profit means everything, your whole argument is centred around money and Benitez is making it.

            4) No, Benitez is not in charge of marketing and his efforts do not determine a players value, that is up to the player. You’re just saying stuff for the sake of saying stuff.

            5) We are not talking about Leicester or the difference between finishing 9th and 10th, we are talking about Newcastle and the difference between finishing 10th and 11th, the top half vs the bottom half, an established club vs a relegation candidate, it’s a huge difference.

          • thewildchimp

            1) Do you honestly think the Spurs paid that much money based on his performance during the whole season, or maybe because he played extremely well in that last game against them and in the EC final? If you aren’t sure, bear in mind that they benched him soon after.

            2) Right… And how much Brighton offered for “inflated” Mitro? 5m less than what we paid for him… Simply because they were aware he isn’t wanted. Any smart merchant would’ve done the same. Now he went on, played and now his price is doubled. I’m not expecting the same result with Mbemba and the rest, simply because they would play an odd game or two but at least they’d get some exposure. And now’s the best time to give that exposure to players, as the end of the season nears and clubs start preparing.

            3) No, it’s exactly as I’ve said it. Take it or leave it – I don’t care. I actually agree with Benitez’ buying policy, just stating that he isn’t as shrewd in the business department as people claim he is. He looks ordinary to me.

            4) He is in charge of who’s playing and who’s not. The ones playing are gonna get their TV time, the others won’t. That’s marketing right there. Whether the players are any good – is going to be reflected in their value. Tell me: what kind of interest is Manquillo going to garner, if nobody can see him playing? Only from those who have seen him before and have rated him. How good are our chances of selling him for profit and investing that money into better players? Slimmer.

            5) Good grief, man. If we were in the positioning-obsessed USA, than you’d probably be right. In Europe, however, it’s all about the influence, prestige and fan base. ManU will earn tens of millions on selling Pogba’s and Sanchez’ shirts alone. If they ended up 2nd or 5th that fact alone would stay the same. If they suddenly dropped 10 spots, than things like that might change. But saying that ending up at 9th, 10th or 11th spot is of great importance is laughable, considering where the true money lies.

            6) Benitez has done as you prefer it and what did we gain from the last two games? Absolutely nothing. If he played some of the younger players, like Merino, at least they would have earned some experience, even if results stayed the same.

            7) Why are we even having this conversation? I recognise the merits of finishing higher but simply believe that the merits of trying to add more depth to the team and some exposure to unwanted players outweigh the former. I wasn’t even having a go at Benitez or anyone. (Though I do think that his money-making capabilities are far behind his tactical prowess.) Are you arguing because you really beleive I’m an idiot, or you simply like discrediting people in that manner?

  • glassjawsh-got-banned

    seeing us dominate possession is weird

    • Andy Mac

      Baggies have a load of men behind the ball now and they’ll wait for a counter attack ? Hmm wonder where they got that from ?

  • TheNutJob

    nightmare, WBA 1-0, in fact we are rubbish

    • glassjawsh-got-banned

      look about as likely to land on the moon as we do to score right now

      • TheNutJob

        got nowt up front, had one chance & blew it

        • glassjawsh-got-banned

          Slimani will be on in the final 30, no doubt

          • TheNutJob

            he couldn`t be any worse than Gayle & Ayoze

          • glassjawsh-got-banned

            that’s the rub against Ayoze. Brilliant in spurts and then useless for long stretches of consecutive games.

  • Natturner26

    If Dwight doesn’t score today I think he’ll have 2 in 23. Mitro has 14 in 14.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      Out of his last 20 games he`s scored in only 1 of them

      • Natturner26

        More than 20 including FA Cup and Royal Antwerp.

  • Coach Clagnut

    Bit of a dogshyt game with plenty of snidey fouls…can see a red card in this one.

    • thewildchimp

      Unfortunately, you were right. Slimani is probably gonna get it from the FA.

      • Coach Clagnut

        Not what I had in mind but wouldn’t be surprised if his season’s come to an end.

  • GToon

    The best performance from a visiting keeper I’ve seen was Foster for Birmingham when we beat them 2-1 about seven or eight years ago. He was amazing. Sounds like he’s continued where he left off today.

    • Coach Clagnut

      He’s pulled off a worldy

  • Billmag

    PD having a mare.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    He`s needs to put on the Big fella, West Brom`s 2 centre backs have never had it so good

    • Coach Clagnut

      Aye…a team of brick shythouses playing against an empty crisp packet

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        True, they are lobbing balls into Gayle against 2 Giants,
        he hasn`t got a hope in hell

  • Peaky

    🐴🐴🐴
    🤣😂🤣

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      🐎 🐎 🐎 🐎
      At the Gallop

  • glassjawsh-got-banned

    Southampton back out in front of Bournemouth. I wonder how they’ll blow it this time?

  • Coach Clagnut

    We’re desperate for some creativity. Just as well they can’t finish or we’d be 3 down.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    The subs should be on NOW,

  • Coach Clagnut

    Big Slim’s coming on…..finally

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      Here he is

  • Mrkgw

    Murphy is desperately poor.

    • glassjawsh-got-banned

      he just looks like someone who doesn’t play very often…

      • Mrkgw

        Bit like Mitro when he was with us!

        • glassjawsh-got-banned

          hopefully some of the outsiders can get a run of meaningless games here at the end

  • Coach Clagnut

    This is painful to watch

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Keep this up & we`ll be lucky to pick up a point in our remaining games

    • Peaky

      You’re right….I’m going out when we go to Wembley….could be embarrassing…..

      • thewildchimp

        No doubt Pochettino won’t allow 2016 to happen, to say the least…

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        Me & Nut will be in Majorca
        😎😎😎

  • Coach Clagnut

    Has Slim touched the ball yet?

    • Dave Mitchison

      He has the touch of a r8pist. He couldn’t pass water let alone the ball

  • Coach Clagnut

    We’re at the beach…pitiful.

  • glassjawsh-got-banned

    good grief Murphy. You might as well just boot it into the stands every time you see the ball.

    • Mrkgw

      £12m for that! He will be sold in the summer. No doubt about it.

  • Dave Mitchison

    Absolute 🐕💩

  • Tino o

    Progress we’ve been even worse than we were against the scouse mackems

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    The Hoss is on

    • Mrkgw

      What a shambles.

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        they`ve switched off

        • Mrkgw

          I’m ready to switch off! This is desperate.

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            😂😂😂
            suffer like the rest of us

    • Peaky

      Leazes will be writing a trilogy after this 💩

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        😂😂😂
        And an Epic Poem

        • Dillon Tovak

          There was was a lad called the hos,
          who played in a team full of dross,
          his finishings shyte, try as he might,
          but we’re stuck with him cos the clubs tight.

    • Andy Mac

      I was just thinking to myself if only we had another striking option ? Think he’s better off where he is ?

      • thewildchimp

        Not necessarily. I think he is reverting to the old, static Mitro in Fulham. Rafa spurred him around, he was changing for the better. But, as he had zero chances of game time here, yes, he’s better off where he is.

  • Coach Clagnut

    Pointless having Hoss & Slim on if we’re not throwing crosses in.

    • Andy Mac

      Yet we were earlier with Gayle up front ? Has Rafa turned into Pardwho overnight ?🤔

      • Coach Clagnut

        Wash ya mouth out with carbolic

      • thewildchimp

        To be fair, I think he doesn’t want that but the lads do it nonetheless.

  • glassjawsh-got-banned

    welp. Slimani’s season is probably over after he get banned the last 3 games for that kick

    • glassjawsh-got-banned

      at least it wasn’t Mitro. He;d have been sent off!

    • mentalman

      He’ll be getting an early trip to the beach

  • Coach Clagnut

    Hoss….what an embarassment.

    • Dave Mitchison

      I don’t think that I could kick the ball as far as Hoss traps it.

      • Coach Clagnut

        His second touch is a tackle.

      • nufcslf

        Couldn’t trap a sack of cement.

    • Andy Mac

      Got the cross in ? Just aimed at the only man in the stadium with Obsessive Compulsive Carpness

      • Coach Clagnut

        He’s a sight to make your eyes sore.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    So the Everton game wasn`t a one off

    • Coach Clagnut

      Set the standard for what’s left.

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        Normal service has resumed to what we were before
        the ManU game

    • thewildchimp

      It isn’t as bad as the first half of the season, but a similar mindset seems to in place.

      • Mike Adam

        14th time we’ve been shut out this season, that is BAD!

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Rafa`s post match interview will be held in Spanglish
    😂😂

  • glassjawsh-got-banned

    17 chances. 2 on target. Not great, Bob.

    • Andy Mac

      Unbelievable Jeff 😕

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    A quite appalling display, there can be no excuses for this shambles

    • Mrkgw

      Well said. Complete let down.

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        Awful & at St James` as well

        • Mrkgw

          Agreed. Something not right and the side look completely flat and devoid of any idea. Gayle was abysmal. Shelvey was poor, Yedlin. In fact, they all were today. Every one of them.

          • Andy Mac

            If JJ isn’t on his game we look devoid of ideas. Creativity is something we lack in bucket loads

  • Andy Mac

    Don’t think you can claim we was robbed ? West From outdone us in every department

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      They wanted it more

      • Coach Clagnut

        Said last week if we’re at the beach against W.B.A. we’ll get turned over. How come the club couldn’t see that?

        • nufcslf

          Exactly. Possibly no training this week because of the match Monday, player’s had to rest.

          • Coach Clagnut

            If we’d played at Everton I could understand the need for a rest but we strolled around for 90 minutes with minimal effort expended. Can see it being used as an excuse though but.

          • nufcslf

            I was taking the pysh. With those last two performances I would have those overpaid rseholes out doing wind sprints instead of typing this.

  • Coach Clagnut

    Enough to make your eyes bleed

  • Tino o
  • Peaky

    ASHLEY OUT
    ASHLEY OUT
    ASHLEY OUT

    • Andy Mac

      If only……

  • glassjawsh-got-banned

    “at least we aren’t Leicester” is about the most positive thing that has come from this morning’s games

  • Coach Clagnut

    Might be goal difference that keeps us up after all.
    On the last 2 displays we’ll get nowt from what remains to be played.

    • paul mclaughlan

      Is this sarcasm? If so hahaha.

      • Coach Clagnut

        Stranger things have happened mate. Can you see anything other than a couple of hammerings from the Lahnden clubs we’ve still got to play?
        Granted, it’s unlikely, but on the last 2 performances who knows? We all had the last 2 games as a minimum 4 point gain but we got what we deserved.

        • TheNutJob

          wor kid said we won`t get another point this season & he said that at half time in the Everton game

          • Coach Clagnut

            Wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest.

          • Billmag

            How come he fancied us today then.??

          • TheNutJob

            he always bets on them to win, but he doesn`t believe they will

          • Billmag

            😀😀😀

        • paul mclaughlan

          Oh aye. I didn’t realise Southampton can equal our points.

          • Damon Horner

            Unless Swansea turn it around against Chelsea we’re safe since Swansea/Southampton still need to play each other.

          • Billmag

            Damon you shouldn’t try to explain anything to these lot on here mate as soon as anything goes wrong the keyboard’s are red hot slagging the team off, the 4 wins off the belt are sharp forgot.

          • Damon Horner

            Sad but true. Always the same whenever we lose any game. Disappointing result but a better season than expected on balance so easier to accept.

          • Billmag

            Damon Rafa has performed miracles getting this team to where they are, without a striker and a number 10 which is going to need sorting out in the close season.

          • Coach Clagnut

            Ok mate, try explaining the last 2 games following the 4 off the trot.
            We can all accept defeat, after all, we’re more than used to it, but what we can’t accept is lack of effort. We’ve gone from 100% effort and application to 75% at best.

          • Billmag

            You’ve answered that question really, the lads have put in a huge effort this season and I think it’s just caught up with them unfortunately. I also think it was really poor by some supporters to boo the lads off today.

          • Coach Clagnut

            Agree with the booing. Shouldn’t happen under any circumstances.
            As to making excuses after a “hard shift”, I’m not buying that. We under performed. Bad attitudes for the most part.
            They short-changed the fans:Unacceptable.

          • nufcslf

            In professional sports you are only as good as your last performance of which there was none in the last 2. Simply as. All those 4 wins did in realty was made f**king sure fatty can pocket more prem money next season. Not worth jumping up and down about really.

          • GToon

            If it was a running race would you accept giving it everything for four races, qualifying for next seasons league and then seemingly jog the next two races. I know it’s more complicated than that but you would think as we are safe just about we might play with confidence and really go at teams rather than seemingly ease to a defeat. I think that’s most peoples frustration.

  • nufcslf

    Nothing learned from the pathetic effort at Everton and normal sh*t order well and truly restored. Joselu at his cluless best. Season can’t end quick enough.

  • TheNutJob

    Jabba, jabba, jabba, oot, oot ,oot, sack the board
    🐖 🐷 🐖

    • Coach Clagnut

      Need to find it first.

      • TheNutJob

        we all know who it is though

        • Coach Clagnut

          The Lesser Spotted Incompetent.

  • Coach Clagnut

    Anyone else see a couple of hammerings on the horizon?

    • nufcslf

      Spurs away is going to be a lesson, I’m sure and now that Liverpool have given Chelsea a sniff, that has a home loss written all over it. Watford won’t be easy neither. That would be losses all round then.

  • TheNutJob

    where`s leazes
    😂😂

    • Peaky

      Calling a ‘Cobra ‘ meeting….

  • Leicester Mag

    P133 poor all round, question is what is the norm? 4 wins or the last 2 efforts? How the hell did we sign a plank like Hos? He’s a poor man’s Billy Whitehurst. Count ourselves fortunate we are safe because the ship is creaking

    • Coach Clagnut

      Schizo displays for sure. No rhyme or reason.

    • Andy Mac

      I don’t go entirely with the misery about the last three games of the season as none of those teams will sit 10 men behind the ball or give us no room on the ball as Everton did.

      Maybe playing teams with their own game plan is better for us as Rafa’s is to sit back and hit on the break ?

  • TheNutJob

    Jabba v Zombies, Jabba wins
    👹👹👹
    😂😂

    • nufcslf

      The zombies would suffocate in the rolls of fat.

      • Coach Clagnut

        Be a crash diet for Fatty. They’d feast on him for a month.

  • Peaky

    If we go into next season with Gayle,Hoss or Murphy anywhere near the first eleven we may as well not go into next season….💩💩💩

    • Coach Clagnut

      Hoss will see out his contract. Who’d pay good money for him? Unless he has an epiphany similar to Diame’s awakening, we’re stuck with him.

      • TheNutJob

        the Heed wouldn`t take him Coach

        • Peaky

          …..or Jarra Roofing…😂😂😂😂

          • TheNutJob

            they might if we paid his wages

          • Coach Clagnut

            That’s about the only way we’ll be shot of him. He’ll be glued to his pay packet.

      • thewildchimp

        I’m hoping for some La Liga 2 teams who could use him, as I can’t see any clubs in England or Germany interested.

    • TheNutJob

      depends if jabba`s still here, if he is we`re Doomed

  • Coach Clagnut

    Rafa has to ban the holiday brochures from the training ground. Who wants to play W.B.A. when you’re focused on the Bahamas, Seychelles etc..

    • Peaky

      Spot on coach….too much of the ‘job done’ mentality…..pampered spoilt bast*rds….🤬🤬🤬

      • Coach Clagnut

        Rich, pampered, spoilt barstewards. Little Timmy’s.

  • Peaky

    Kane will score 6 against us…..granted 4 of them won’t be his but he’ll claim 6…….

  • glassjawsh-got-banned

    Speaking of Spurs. Anyone else on here read that the FA is looking to sell Wembley to the NFL? The pitch would be ripped to shreds 8 times a year. What a $hitshow.

    • TheNutJob

      if they sold it to Jabba he`d built flats on it
      😂😂😂

    • Peaky

      All over the papers here,looking to complete sale in 6 to 8 weeks…

      • TheNutJob

        Fatty`s at the Chelsea match disguised as Dawn French

        • Coach Clagnut

          Payed for 6 seats between them

          • Jezza

            Do you mjean they had to pay for repairs to the seats crushed under their weight.

        • Jezza

          He’d have to lose a couple of stone for the disguise to be convincing.

    • Coach Clagnut

      To the chairman of Fulham. Prime land Craven Cottage is sitting on. He buys Wembley and pays for it by developing the riverside for the oligarchs and tax avoiders currently plaguing the country.
      The F.A. is well initialled.

      • TheNutJob

        good spot

      • Andy Mac

        Except you just cant see Fulham playing at Wembley ? They’d never fill it and the fans wouldn’t want a trip across to North London 🤔

        • Coach Clagnut

          Use the mackem trick and close the top tier. Plus, there’s plenty of furners who’ll turn up on the day for the premier experience.
          Being we’re in the post-football football era, I’d put nowt past owt to do with the game anymore.

  • Andy Mac

    On the plus side for NE sport, Falcons are guaranteed a top four place so playoffs and top flight European rugby next season 👌

    • nufcslf

      Wish I was a rugby fan, I’m just stuck with fatty’s balck and white pysh take. All the best to the Falcons for next season all the same.

      • Coach Clagnut

        Aye, not into minority sports but good to see N.E teams making a splash.

        • nufcslf

          That was Keegan’s dream at one time to have all sports covered in the North East and competing at the highest level. At least one of them seems to be on their way.

      • Andy Mac

        If only Semore had the funds to buy the Fatman out ? He’s performed miracles with what was a basket case under the former owner. Bringing in Dean Richards was the catalyst , hopefully Rafa will have the same effect ?

  • GToon

    The only positive from the last two games and the next three is that it won’t lull anybody (fatty) into a false sense of security. If we’d ended up 8th he’d think he’d got it right. Ending the season on a low might be the best thing to do in the long run. Then he might back Rafa.

    • Jezza

      You are dreaming. Fatso will never back Rafa. In fact Fatso will be delighted if Rafa walks in the summer because that will enable him to bring back his puppet Pardew on a fifth of the salary and no complaining about the lack of transfer funds.