Newcastle United are one of the many teams in the second half of the table, who cannot be complacent for the rest of the season. They can easily drop into the relegation zone if they don’t find positive results constantly and Rafa Benitez will hope that his side can keep up their decent form in recent games this weekend as well.
The Magpies moved into the 4th round of the FA Cup, last weekend, and have now picked up seven points from their last four games in the league. They will welcome the bottom-placed Swansea side, who have four points in their last four games. The Magpies will believe that they have what it takes to steal all three points from this game and here is the predicted lineup the manager might field for this tie:
In early team news, the Magpies are still without the services of Florian Lejeune and Jesus Gamez, who are nursing long-term injuries. Aleksandar Mitrovic and Chancel Mbemba are doubtful for this game but the likes of Rob Elliot and Jamaal Lascelles are both back fit and should star this tie.
Expected lineup (4-4-1-1):
The Magpies have stuck with Rob Elliot on goal for most games this season and now that he is back to full fitness, is expected to keep his place under the bar this weekend. Skipper Jamaal Lascelles is also back in training and should start as a part of the backline. He should be supported by Ciaran Clark, who has been in decent form this season.
Benitez has Spanish star Javier Manquillo as his first choice left-back and should make no changes for this all-important game while DeAndre Yedlin, who was rested for the FA Cup tie, should be back in his right-back role.
The experience of Mohamed Diame has been crucial to the plans of the manager this season and he will have a huge role to play, in controlling the tempo of the game for his side. He should be accompanied by Jonjo Shelvey, who found the back of the net last weekend.
Matt Ritchie will be the most dangerous outlet for Newcastle United in this tie and should be kept quiet by the visitors. He should star on the right flank in the midfield while Christian Atsu, who has also been effective on the wing, is expected to start on the left flank.
Joselu has just not done enough to cement a place in the first team. He could be dropped to the bench and replaced by Dwight Gayle, who is slowly finding some momentum. He will be supported by Ayoze Perez, who is also integral to the manager’s system at the club.
Here is how they might line up:
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