Games coming thick and fast now as a busy December could be pivotal to United’s season, this is the predicted Newcastle team v Wolves below.
Who will Rafa Benitez go for?
The Newcastle boss has to make at least one change with Fabian Schar suspended after his fifth yellow card.
Rafa does though get back Matt Ritchie who was the first to pick up five yellows and missed Everton on Wednesday.
Darlow and Hayden are reported to be out injured still, whilst it is too early for Sterry and Lejeune, although Rafa Benitez did indicate that if it was essential, the Frenchman could play – but he won’t risk him yet.
The three/five at the back seemed to work really well at Burnley and Rafa may have regretted not keeping it for West Ham, at Everton it worked a treat again.
A shame that Schar is suspended but Ciaran Clark was unlucky to lose his place after scoring the winner at Burnley and playing in the three. So I can see a rare use of the three/five at the back at a home match, with Clark back in.
Rafa stated today that both Dummett and Kenedy are back training and so long as they get through Saturday’s training without any setbacks, they will be available.
I think Kenedy will come back in after missing Everton with a minor toe injury but Dummett to have to settle for a place on the bench. Yedlin the obvious one of course to play right wing-back.
You wonder once again whether Jonjo Shelvey will get back in, he came on as a sub last Saturday but it was a hopeless case, as the game was already gone.
Difficult once again to see Rafa breaking up the Diame/Ki partnership which has been a big factor in the recent run of form.
Matt Ritchie is set to come back in and give us energy and balance, Atsu and Murphy not really doing enough to suggest Rafa has a decision to make.
Up front, Salomon Rondon will start, but I see Yoshinori Muto coming back in to give the team some much-needed pace.
Muto was on the bench at Everton and a few more training sessions won’t have done any harm in bringing him close to full fitness.
A few more options and decisions for Rafa Benitez, as he attempts to utilise his small squad in the best way possible during this busy period.
This being my predicted Newcastle team v Wolves:
A team that will hopefully see Newcastle pull away from the relegation zone a little further and close on the clubs in the middle of the table.