This is the predicted Newcastle team v Chelsea for Sunday afternoon.

Rafa Benitez has had two games and two weeks of the season to have a look at his players.

The Newcastle boss hampered by both the lack of funds AND the lack of urgency the club showed in bringing in his main targets, especially up front.

However, I think Rafa has to now move away from the familiar and more into what he sees as his best team going forward.

The manager has to make at least one change.

This time Rafa Benitez is without:

Isaac Hayden suspended.

Florian Lejeune injured, whilst no news on how bad Manquillo is after going off at Cardiff, though he is likely to be unavailable as well.

Kenedy ineligible.

Right-back became a major issue last Saturday, Yedlin’s absence highlighting the total lack of quality cover at full-back on both sides of the pitch.

Manquillo was terrible and Hayden arguably even worse when asked to play out of position in the second half. Luckily Yedlin is back in training and will obviously play if fit enough to do so.

Kenedy had a nightmare as well at Cardiff, nothing going right for him and the only positive being that he didn’t get sent off. Ineligible to play against his parent club, Kenedy can sit back and reflect on getting his head sorted for Man City the following weekend.

As for a replacement, it looks between Atsu and Murphy.

Atsu was shocking when coming on as a sub against Tottenham and dropped from the bench last Saturday.

Jacob Murphy actually did ok against brother Josh when coming on last weekend as 10 man Newcastle actually played alright in the closing stages.

Last season’s 3-0 win over Chelsea saw Jacob Murphy fill in for Kenedy, who was also ineligible for that match, and Murphy did well. He looks an automatic choice for me as well and with plenty of defending likely to be needed, his pace getting up and down the pitch can be an asset.

Much of the team picks itself. If Newcastle had endured a defensive nightmare against Cardiff then I might have suggested Fernandez to come in for Clark. However, they did relatively ok against a very limited Cardiff attack, so worth giving them the opportunity to build on that clean sheet.

The rest of the team pretty much picks itself until you get up front.

The only question being when, not if, Rafa Benitez will play his new signings.

I would play both Rondon and Muto against Chelsea, as if we go with Joselu and Perez once again, I can see it being far too comfortable for the visitors.

I think we need forwards who will give Chelsea something to think about and even against Cardiff, Perez and Joselu gave us nothing.

Rafa’s now had over two weeks to work with Rondon and Muto and now is the time to throw them in. Rondon looked a bit of a handful against Spurs and can hopefully do the same against Chelsea, whilst Muto looked lively when off the bench at Cardiff, winning the penalty that should have given NUFC three points.

The last five meetings at St James Park against Chelsea have seen four wins and a draw for Newcastle, a massive boost if that is five wins and a draw by Sunday night.

This would be my Newcastle team v Chelsea:

newcastle team v chelsea

Newcastle v Chelsea Match Betting:

NUFC win 19/4Draw 3/1Chelsea win 13/20

NUFC win 3-0 110/1Rondon to score last goals 19/2At least 3 match goals in first half 6/1

All Newcastle v Chelsea betting HERE

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  • ghostrider

    Is Joselu injured because I don’t see Rafa’s darling in that line up.

    • mentalman

      They are both missing from the line up

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    Think he will start with Perez and Joselu and bring the other two on barring sending’s off and injuries like last week. Nice to see an article about football on here. Wonder how that got on the Mag. No negativity think you should be sacked.

    • TheFatController

      Mugpie does irony.


  • Mrkgw

    Looks to be a decent enough selection. When however, will Fernandez or, Schar get their chance I wonder? Clark can be hit or miss and I fear that it will be the latter vs a top side like Chelsea.

    • Peaky

      Totally agree with your description of Clark……Also no matter who plays at right back,whether it be……..Yedlin returning from injury……Sterry as he’s a novice…..or Mannequin who is shyte…..Hazard will be chomping at the bit…

      • mentalman

        I can see a 5 man defence being used

  • mactoon

    I would agree with that line up but I would be very surprised if he dropped both Perez and Joselu. I can’t fathom out why you would persevere with Joselu

  • Staveley Save Us

    Please do not play Atsu over Murphy, he’s dreadful. Rondon has to be given a chance over Joselu now, but will be surprised if Perez gets drop given his work rate.

  • Kenny

    Diame & Perez have started this season like the last, drop them both

  • Hughie

    He wont drop awful Perez

    • Monkseaton Magpies

      Awful Perez who single handed won us thirteen points last season to keep us up and nearly scored two last week the only person on the pitch having a shot.

      • TheFatController

        Apart from Kenedy’s Shot early doors, you mean?

  • toonterrier

    Don’t think Dummett has the pace or skill to deal with the Chelsea wide men. Please prove me wrong.

  • NUFCDan

    I can see Ki coming in, whether its for Diame or Perez I’m not sure.

    • mactoon

      I fear Diame will be a passenger against Chelsea