After a midweek loss to Manchester City, Newcastle United will try to take three points against Brighton and Hove Albion.
Drawing heavy criticism from the media, Rafa Benitez played an incredibly defensive lineup against Manchester City on Wednesday. The parking the bus approach allowed Newcastle United to stay in the game, only conceding one goal. Rafa’s choice of formation and personnel may also give him some flexibility for his starting XI today against Brighton and Hove Albion.
Newcastle has a match quickly after as they travel to face Stoke City on Monday. Our staff made their predictions for who will suit up and in what formation for the Magpies at St. James’ Park.
Carson A. Merk
Darlow; Dummett, Clark, Lascelles, Yedlin; Shelvey, Merino; Atsu, Ayoze, Ritchie; Joselu
Darlow; Manquillo, Clark, Lascelles, Yedlin; Atsu, Merino, Saivet, Ritchie; Perez, Gayle
Woodman; Mbemba, Clark, Lascelles, Yedlin; Murphy, Merino, Shelvey, Ritchie; Perez, Gayle
Thankfully, none of us are predicting a five-man back line in this one. Newcastle United should be able to get involved in the attack and try to secure three points at home. Three different writers, three different left back predictions. Last year, Paul Dummett was highly successful against 2016 Championship Player of the Year Anthony Knockaert and he may get a chance to start in back-to-back matches after returning from injury.
If the quick turnaround won’t work for the recovering Dummett, Javier Manquillo or Chancel Mbemba have filled in admirably in his absence. Our trio predicts another appearance for the central defensive pairing of Ciaran Clark and captain Jamaal Lascelles.
While my colleagues selected Dwight Gayle at striker, I have a bad feeling Rafa will stick with the ineffective Joselu. There will be speedy options available, with Christian Atsu, Rolando Aarons, and Jacob Murphy all in good form.
With Rob Elliot out due to a thigh injury, Durim and I went with the likely replacement of Karl Darlow. Roy went with the surprise pick of the day, selecting Freddie Woodman between the posts. The youngster hasn’t appeared this season, but with a congestion of matches around this time, Rafa may give the English youth national team star a chance at home against a non-giant club.
Kickoff is set for later today at 3PM local time from St. James’ Park.