Not long to go now, only 12 days until the Premier League season kicks off once again for Newcastle United.

Before then of course, we have the earlier than previous closing of the summer transfer window.

Newcastle fans wondering who will, and who won’t, be at St James Park once the clock ticks around to 5pm on Thursday 9 August.

So who do you think will be in the Newcastle team v Tottenham?

Personally, I have a feeling that it will be looking very familiar…

Starting at the back, Martin Dubravka is a no-brainer. His stunning saves against Porto on Saturday night a reminder of how good he was in the final months of last season.

In front of him, Yedlin and Dummett still have no competition whatsoever at full-back, then Jamaal Lascelles will of course captain the team.

Playing alongside him, I think it is pretty nailed on that we will see Ciaran Clark stepping in after the sad injury to Florian Lejeune. Fabian Schar got 25 minutes against Porto and no doubt will get more time on the pitch against both Braga and Augsburg – but I can’t see Rafa rushing him in when he has the reliable Clark available.

In front of them, Diame and Shelvey are showing signs in the friendlies that they can pick up from where they left off back in May and whilst Ki Sung-yueng is a decent squad addition, it would be a massive surprise if Rafa split up the Diame/Shelvey partnership.

On the wings, very hard to see why the manager would think for a second beyond Ritchie and Kenedy. The Brazilian has missed Hull and Porto after the birth of his daughter but will be playing on that opening day against Spurs.

Then it gets interesting, kind of.

By the end of August it may be a very different story but I can’t see past Perez and Joselu to start the season.

Not what most people would want to hear of course…but that is the grim reality.

Rafa Benitez is waiting on a work permit for Yoshinori Muto but even if that comes through in the very near future, I can’t see any way he will be starting against Tottenham. The Newcastle boss likes to spend a lot of time preparing his team and with Muto also having had an extended break after the World Cup, the very best will surely be a place on the bench on the opening day.

As for the main striking position, changes in and out look all but guaranteed to happen, with at least one if not two strikers coming in.

However, Joselu has started all three friendlies so far and will very likely do the same against Braga on Wednesday night. Dwight Gayle looks on his way out and after 45 minutes against St Patrick’s Athletic, Rafa didn’t take him to Hull and then Gayle was the only senior outfield player to not get on the pitch against Porto.

newcastle team v totttenham

Even if Rondon and/or somebody else was signed now, they wouldn’t be involved against Braga and maybe not even get a game next Saturday when Augsburg are at St James Park, unless things were sorted very quickly.

With Rafa Benitez’ attention to detail and wanting to drill his team before matches, I just can’t see Rondon or any other new striker in the starting Newcastle team v Tottenham.

Dwight Gayle is set to go, which leaves…Joselu.

How many would have predicted this team above to be very likely kicking off the season for NUFC?

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  • Paul Patterson

    Ooh, we’ve progressed since last season then.. 😕

  • Jezza

    “How many would have predicted this team above to be very likely kicking off the season for NUFC?”

    I will be truthfully blunt here. Going back to the start of the transfer window, with the exception of Lascelles, I would have predicted all of those players to be in the starting eleven for the first game of the season.

    • Leazes.

      I still think there will be bid going in with hours to spare for Lascelles…. its sort of going as expected….. maybe lejunes injury is faked to keep Lascelles until Rafa’s contract has run out…. then he’s safe.

      • Jezza

        Agreed entirely. Back in May I predicted on this forum that Lascelles would be sold on the final afternoon of the transfer window.

        • Leazes.

          There’s a coincidence I did too just before you.

          • Martin Rooney

            Not going to happen, I

  • Peaky

    The trolling on here is getting ridiculous… there any coincidence there’s been an uprise since the school holidays started……one week in and mummy’s little soldiers are bored shitless… eh…..I blame the mother as they don’t know who their dads are…..keep them off the fizzy drinks and sugar….

    • Jezza

      Yes it always get worse at this time of year when it’s the school holidays and they’ve got nobody to bully.

    • Leazes.

      Understand what Trolls do…. the take advantage when there is anger in the and they try to exacerbate it….. it isn’t kids.

      • Peaky

        Childlike mentality…..there’s places for people like them….would have got ‘sent away’ in Victorian times.

      • steve

        You’re one of the biggest trolls here with you’re constant negativity.

    • Wor Lass

      Those teachers with six weeks holidays on their hands – they don`t know what to do with their time!

      • Peaky

        Does le Tour go anywhere near past your neck of the woods ???

        • Wor Lass

          Not this year, mate. The last time it did was about 12 years ago. Our place was just a holidy home then. I was busy painting the kitchen ceiling so I missed it. All the neighbours thought I was addled. I wind them up now, saying it`s not fair because our wheels are rounder than theirs and that the French team should be targeting asthmatics if they want to compete with us. It compensates slightly for the footy!

          • Peaky

            Went to see it in Skipton 2014…..quite a spectacle even though I waited 3 hours in a good spot to see them whizz past in about 20 seconds….loads going on though pop up bars etc and the atmosphere was amazing….

          • Wor Lass

            We went to see the Tour de Charente a few years ago to cheer mark Cavendish on. The police outriders and all the other security took longer to go past than the riders – complete waste of a morning!

    • Philippines

      I posted some 7 hours after you and then read your post. I looked up and down but, excuse me, could not see a post in this thread that would have qualified. Maybe you mean ‘on this site in general’?

      • Peaky

        Yes indeed…..yesterday (Sunday) was particularly bad with trolls trolling each other at one point using I don’t know how many names….I would have posted this comment yesterday but I frankly got bored with the childish behaviour and just left it….a few ‘normal’ contributors are starting to walk away now and I’m seriously starting to consider this route myself.

  • Leazes.

    I can’t predict the team or the final score but with that line up I’ll predict the United bit as….

    Newcastle 0 – ? Tottenham

    and the starting formation as 4-4-1-1

    but in reality 4-5-1-0 deep

    • Jezza

      Just depends on how many Spurs want to score.

      • Leazes.

        they’ll go to 3 then sub players to rest them and hold off.

  • TeessideMag

    Whatever happened to Matt Ritchie leaving?

    • Jezza

      Still time…

  • 1957

    Truthfully I wouldn’t have a expected Kenedy, but I have little doubt the Hoss will be involved unless we get a spectacular last minute bid for him…

  • Philippines

    Interesting to me that until the two forwards, the selection seems a forgone conclusion with a group of players that can match anyone. So it leaves us with Perez and Joselu. I have long sung the praises of Perez and I think he will impress in this season. Joselu I think will also come good. Apart from that I am going to take a ‘wait and see’ approach.

  • Stephen Paylor

    If Gayle goes we will have Rondon on loan