Newcastle United leave the comforts of the St. James’ Park as they get on the road to face up against Derby County on Saturday. With the Magpies stars returning without any major injury issues after the International break, it will be business as usual for Rafa Benitez as he aims to make it 5 wins in a row. The former Real Madrid coach has been given the complete backing in the transfer window and has splashed the cash as he aimed to build a squad capable of earning immediate promotion to the English Premier League. And what would have pleased the fans is that Rafa seems to realise the job that is on hand is not an easy one by any means. Although the difference in quality of the Magpies with most of the teams in the League is huge, it will come to zilch if the players don’t perform on the field. And Rafa seems to have got the message across to his boys as after a couple of initial hiccups they have settled into a more cohesive unit.
After losing to Fulham and Huddersfield in the opening couple of fixtures, they have regrouped and have since beaten Reading, Bristol City and Brighton and have climbed up to the 4th spot. What will additionally please the manager is the end of the transfer window, where along with the incoming talent there were a number of exits but most notably and distracting one was the transfer saga of Moussa Sissoko. The French international was desperate to escape the hardships and competitiveness of the Championship and was seen agitating for a move throughout the summer. With his deadline day departure fetching a whopping £30m, it seems the club was justified in its stand of not relenting to the whims of the player early on.
Coming to the match, the difference in quality of the two teams is apparent and Derby will realise they have to play out of their skins if they are to get anything out of the match. Derby are 14th in the table and the going-ons on the pitch are expected to be reflective of this difference in league standings as well.
Benitez has got his wish of 2 players for each position and as such will have to make decisions every game. While there have been new signings, with 4 wins on the trot he would loathe changing too much in the game on Saturday. Mitrovic is back, and he could well start with inform Dwight Gayle upfront.
Here is the Predicted Line-Up Vs Derby County