Sometimes the best changes in football are those that are forced, rather than chosen.

Whilst Newcastle played better against Bournemouth and deserved to win, fair to say that before that match the Magpies had been pretty shocking going forward, with the exception of the first half at Old Trafford.

With nine days to go, supporters are wondering about the Newcastle team v Burnley.

The biggest topic of conversation since last Saturday’s victory had been about what Rafa Benitez would do if Jamaal Lascelles is fully fit.

Federico Fernandez is obviously first choice after being consistently NUFC’s best defender all season but a potential dilemma between bringing Lascelles straight back in if fit, or sticking with Fabian Schar.

The Swiss international replaced Lascelles halfway through the Watford match and did really well, good in defence and helping Newcastle play it out from the back, The former Deportivo defender then following that up with an excellent game against Bournemouth.

However, team selection for this next crucial game looks to have been turned on its head, with Paul Dummett set to miss after Wales sent him home early after injury v Denmark.

Typical luck for Rafa considering it was Dummett’s first ever start for Wales, plus of course he has no natural decent quality alternative left-back.

However, sad though it is to see any Newcastle player pick up an injury, just maybe it might have done Rafa Benitez a favour.

Solving another selection headache AND potentially getting this Newcastle team playing better football, as well as increasing the chances of a positive result at Burnley.

I think that if Paul Dummett is ruled out through injury, then it means Rafa would be guilt free in terms of playing all three of Lascelles, Fernandez and Schar.

This is how the Newcastle team v Burnley could look:

newcastle team v burnley

The likes of Yedlin and Kenedy are obviously better going forwards than backwards, so this could be ideal, this pair of wing-backs able to attack knowing they have the three centre-backs/defenders behind them.

Some people would maybe even go a step further and add in Shelvey (if fit) instead of Ayoze Perez to play in the next match.

With Salomon Rondon playing, it means at last Newcastle have a target man who is strong enough to hold the ball up and bring the midfielders into play.

There are no guarantees of course but I think this team selection and formation could really lift Newcastle’s game in the absence of Dummett.

A win at Burnley would be huge.

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  • Paul Patterson

    I think the team mentioned above is a case of trying too hard to accommodate Ritchie. He isn’t a central midfielder.
    I’m all for 5-3-2, but if Shelvey is fit then replace Ritchie with Shelvey and you have yourself a side. Otherwise it’s 4-4-2 with Manquillo at left back.

    • JohnnyH

      Right with you up to the Manquillo bit, but I suppose needs must.

      • Paul Patterson

        That’s why Rafa wanted another left back.

        • Toontaff

          Manquillo should be left back – left back at Benton whilst we’re in Burnley.

    • mentalman

      I think we’ll eventually see ritchie move in to a central position

    • mentalman

      Lazaar seems to be back in the picture

      • glassjawsh-got-banned

        please, no

  • mentalman

    Lets hope we don’t see clark at left back again

  • JohnnyH

    The back three with two wing backs would seem like a plan, given the circumstances, I’d be worried about them playing it, Kenedy would have to be positionally disciplined, the back three would need to have been training as a unit for it all week.
    Still better than playing Manquillo tho.
    This is just another situation forced on Rafa by Ashley not backing him in the transfer market.

  • David scott

    FFS you seem happy to see our only left back injured – are you taking mind altering drugs or are you just fecking stupid

    • Ba ba.

      😂 😂 😂

  • Come&TakeIt1836

    I wouldn’t mind seeing the wingback set up. I have my doubts Rafa will go with it though.

    Lejuene will get back and Lascelles may find himself fourth of five in the central defense pecking order for his club… much less country. He is a leader of men but his skills have to keep him on the pitch for that to matter.

  • Ram Kishore

    Isn’t it too early, we don’t really know the extent of his injury. We’d have to wait until there is any proper update..Just hope he’s just having a minor one.
    The match is not until Monday..let’s wait

  • Kenny

    you can shuffle the pack, spin the plates, polish turds but the fact is we have a squad that is built for survival only.
    we need the Fat [email protected] out.

    • JJ

      Three positive results in a row and you’re looking to sack Rafa?! Check out the next 4-5 fixtures…they could be into 10th by Christmas. That’s hardly survival in the EPL.

  • Wor Lass

    The Schar hype reminds me a bit of Aarons and Mbabu. A couple of half decent performances don`t really prove anything. The difference, though, is that Schar is at least an established international and definitely has ability on the ball. What worries me is his lack of pace – something that Fernandez covered up for him v Bournemouth.For me, there`s no doubt that if Jamaal is fit he comes in. If Rafa does go with wingbacks then that would be a decent enough line-up but I`m also not totally convinced about Kenedy for the full back half of the job (especially after the hour mark). Somebody else mentions Lazaar – he seems to have been rehabilitated and could possibly come into the reckoning.

    • Kenny

      I noticed that Fernandez had to cover for him quite a few times & the sooner Lascelles is back the better.

      • Toontaff

        Hazaa! He’s in the next stable to The Hoss!

  • Kenny

    Is Geordiegiants around, i missed the Serbia game and was wondering how
    Mitrovic fared

    • Toontaff

      ‘Scored v Montenegro! A top international striker allowed to slip through the net……………’ GeordieGiants

  • robbersdog

    I’d play Shelvey (if fit) instead of Diame. I’m sure he can play in a deeper, ‘holding’ role, and his range of passing will give us options that Diame hasn’t got the skills to provide.

    Failing that, I’d play him instead of Ki or Perez. Jonjo is our best passer of the ball and we’re not so spoilt for choice that we can leave him out if he’s fit.

  • Kazie

    Rafa will probably go with Clark at left back.