This Saturday sees the biggest game of the season so far, the predicted Newcastle team v Brighton below.

Who will Rafa Benitez go for?

In at least two ways, I think this is a very straightforward selection for the manager.

Firstly, the team did very well at Old Trafford and only after tiring late in the game, combined with the power of the home side’s bench, did things come unstuck.

Secondly, it is very difficult to make a case for many squad players to be given a chance, based on what we have seen from them previously.

Martin Dubravka is the easiest selection in the 11.

Whilst I think the back four is also straightforward for Rafa Benitez, depending on fitness.

With Lejeune still out, Lascelles and Fernandez ave done well and will surely continue. Fabian Schar got good write-ups after Switzerland beat Iceland this week but it would be a major surprise if he started his second PL game on Saturday.

DeAndre Yedlin didn’t finish his second international of this break until around 3am (UK time) on Wednesday morning. Only playing the last six minutes of a 1-1 draw against Peru, Rafa will be determined to have him on the pitch, especially with Manquillo the only cover.

Speaking of which, I thought the Spaniard did ok at Old Trafford up to a point. However, with Paul Dummett back in training, the first (only!) choice left-back is set to return.

Kenedy was back in form at Man Utd and of course scored an excellent goal, along with Ritchie they will certainly play. All three subs at Old Trafford weakened the Newcastle team, whilst Manchester United did the opposite, having around £200m worth of players sitting on the bench and the three they brought on, all played key roles in changing the game.

Murphy and Atsu were really poor and made no case at all to be involved tomorrow, the same with Joselu when he came on.

Goalscorer Yoshinori Muto was excellent on his first PL start, as well as his goal his all round mobile play was a step above anything we’ve seen from Perez and Joselu.

Having said that, with Rondon not seen back out training as yet, Perez is an easy selection with only Joselu competing for a game. The former Tenerife player did do a bit better at Old Trafford and his movement was improved a little as well, with Muto maybe sparking him into life a bit.

An easy team selection for Rafa Benitez in my opinion and this is how I think they will line up:

Martin Dubravka

DeAndre Yedlin

Jamaal Lascelles

Federico Fernandez

Paul Dummett

Matt Ritchie

Mohamed Diame

Jonjo Shelvey


Ayoze Perez

Yoshinori Muto

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  • RunforPavel47

    Perez out for me just watch the last 20 mins of Man u game he is walking about when were 1-2 up so lazy not to chase down balls or put defenders under pressure by then its too late and we lose the game. Muto up front on his own pack the midfield and use Ritchie as Number 10.

  • Themoscow72

    Yes that would be my team but Rafa should never have let Gayle go. Yes he misses sitters but stays fit and think after last year would have got us at least a dozen goals. This new bloke does not play. Brighton have sent at least a thousand tickets so geordies set to invade the Brighton end get your tickets now online or on Saturday from the box office. Only 91 single seats left in the normal part of the ground.

  • Kneebotherm8

    A pretty much straightforward team pick for Rafa…………..not a lot of options for him really…

  • Peaky

    What a waste of bloody time Rondon is turning out to be….

    • mactoon

      well it’s not as though Gayle and Mitro are scoring…. erm… ☹

  • mentalman

    It should be the same team as against man u apart from Dummett coming in but you can never predict what rafa will do

  • Wor Lass

    Perez hasn`t been good over all this season but a) he`s not on his own there! and b) he`s been getting into good positions and putting shots on target – he`s been a bit unlucky in my opinion. It seems like just about every dangerous move we`ve created has involved him. He`s a decent footballer and usually works hard and should benefit from Muto`s presence alongside him. The bigger worry for me iss the dip in form for Diame – he`s gone right back to being SloMo. Everybody with the honourable exceptions of Dubravka, Fernandez and Dummett, needs to step it up tomorrow.

  • Philippines

    Would go with that selection. Will be watching in Taiwan later.