Fans choice of Newcastle team v Arsenal on Saturday
We asked fans the question, which 11 players would you pick in your Newcastle team v Arsenal?
We put together a list of the 25 players who could potentially be selected for this 3pm Saturday afternoon kick-off.
Newcastle looking to double up on that victory in April against Arsenal and at the same time climb out of the relegation zone.
Isaac Hayden is back from suspension, whilst on Friday, Rafa Benitez confirmed he had pretty much a full squad to choose from.
The likes of Jonjo Shelvey and Matt Ritchie back from injury, whilst the manager did say that it is always a quandary as to whether players are in the right shape when coming back from international duty.
Both Rondon and Yedlin played in the early hours of Wednesday morning (UK time) but both came off the bench. The striker getting 35 minutes and scoring the two goals that beat Panama, whilst the right-back only got six minutes in the 1-0 victory over Mexico.
A combination of having some decent players and a far from strong squad, lead to very strong support for much of the preferred starting eleven by fans.
Seven players getting 91% or better backing from the Newcastle supporters: Shelvey (97%), Lascelles (96%), Dubravka (95%), Yedlin (94%), Ritchie (93%), Dummett (92%) and Rondon (91%).
Despite struggling so far, fans still recognise that Kenedy (85%) is worth sticking by as he tries to get back last season’s form having had a disruptive summer with a new baby and having to travel back to Brazil.
Meanwhile more than four in five (82%) still see Diame as the automatic choice alongside Shelvey.
In the absence of Lejeune, there is more of a debate about who should partner Lascelles, with two in three (64%) going for Federico Fernandez who has started well. No interest in seeing three centre-backs once again, as Schar (33%) and Clark (19%) don’t have great support.
As is so often the case, with Rafa Benitez not having been allowed to bring in a real quality number ten, fans are stuck for a positive choice.
By default Ayoze Perez (58%) finds himself the choice despite showing nothing this season, hopefully he can reproduce the late season form that saw him score against Arsenal and other teams in the final months of that last campaign. Yoshinori Muto (32%) is still to find his feet in the Premier League, it would be a huge boost if he can step up soon – maybe the international break will prove a big business as Rafa has had the chances to work with the likes of Muto and Kenedy.
So this is the fans choice team:
Here is the percentage (rounded up or down to nearest whole number) support for each Newcastle player from the thousands of votes cast:
97% Jonjo Shelvey
96% Jamaal Lascelles
95% Martin Dubravka
94% DeAndre Yedlin
93% Matt Ritchie
92% Paul Dummett
91% Salomon Rondon
82% Mohamed Diame
64% Federico Fernandez
58% Ayoze Perez
33% Fabian Schar
32% Yoshinori Muto
19% Ciaran Clark
17% Ki Sung-yeung
11% Jacob Murphy
7% Sean Longstaff
6% Christian Atsu
5% Isaac Hayden
5% Javier Manquillo
3% Rob Elliott
2% Jamie Sterry
2% Achraf Lazaar
2% Karl Darlow
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