This could (should?) be the Newcastle team v Bournemouth
Three days until we find out the Newcastle team v Bournemouth.
Tuesday night seeing Rafa Benitez giving us a few clues as to what the selection might be.
Attending the Newcastle United Foundation awards dinner, the manager revealed that Jamaal Lascelles had taken part in a light training session on Tuesday but that Jonjo Shelvey and Yosinori Muto hadn’t taken part.
Lascelles had been suffering with a shoulder problem before the Watford match and was forced off halfway through, whilst Muto and Shelvey picked up new muscle injuries and also had to be subbed.
Whilst the Newcastle Captain is hopefully going to be available, the other two are likely to miss Saturday’s game.
The pair have had scans and according to media reports Muto’s doesn’t look too serious, but with a two week international break following the Bournemouth match, it is very difficult to see Rafa Benitez taking any chances.
Looking ahead to this next game, Ki Sung-yeung will surely continue in the team after being so impressive against Watford.
Even if Shelvey was available, I think it would be a case of whether he or Diame started alongside the South Korean, rather than Ki dropping out.
I know you can’t make too much out of 38 minutes on the pitch but as well as creating the winner, Ki was linking up play and running with the ball, taking the game to the opposition, something that has just not been happening.
Teams know Jonjo Shelvey wants to sit deep and hit killer passes and it has just not happened, mainly due to the lack of quality in front of him on the pitch.
If fit, I would like to see Ki and Shelvey get a chance together, I think as a pair they can complement each other and get Newcastle more creative again.
Ayoze Perez will surely start instead of Muto and get a chance to build on that confidence booster, with Joselu being the only other option it is another easy choice.
Not so easy though when it comes to selecting the defence.
Rafa Benitez has shown in the past that he will make bold decisions and I think another could be on the horizon.
In normal circumstances, and in the future, Jamaal Lascelles would be an automatic pick.
However, on this occasion, surely giving Schar a chance to build on his impressive pairing with Fernandez on Saturday against Watford, is worth a try.
My choice of Newcastle team v Bournemouth:
Especially as Schar is more mobile than Lascelles and Fernandez, up against the in-form Callum Wilson (six goals, three in last two games), a bit more mobility would help.
Also, Fabian Schar improved things at the back in terms of playing the ball out.
Will Rafa Benitez make this big call?
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