After a poor start to their season in the English Premier League, things have started to fall in place for Newcastle United as their two wins on the trot, against West Ham United and Swansea City, must have significantly helped them in bolstering the morale of their side. As a result, the Magpies jumped up to 10th spot in the league table with 6 points to their name, having played 4 games so far.
On Saturday, the black and white striped crops are due to host Mark Hughes’ Stoke City at St. James’ Park in what promises to be a riveting encounter. Here is how we feel Newcastle United would dish out their starting line-up against the Potters this weekend.
Lately, Rob Elliot has been reliable between the sticks as he bagged a couple of clean sheets in his last two outings and thus, he would be keen to keep the momentum going against the Potters. Benitez is almost certain to hand the custodian’s role to Elliot.
At the heart of their defence, we expect Jamaal Lascelles and Ciaran Clark to start owing to the strong sense of resilience they have been successful in manoeuvring. The presence of the duo in the backline has been intriguing and Magpies would hope that these two keep their commendable form intact.
Summer signing Javi Manquillo is anticipated to be chalked into the right-back position to showcase his industry for Benitez’s side. Paul Dummett and Chancel Mbemba are out, which implies that Jesus Gamez would be a safe bet for the left-back’s role.
The central midfield is expected to be filled by Mikel Merino and Isaac Hayden. These two would be handed the responsibilities of cushioning the backline, providing the platform for their teammates to dish out offensive endeavours as well as to dictate the tempo of the game.
Matt Ritchie has been Newcastle United most prolific player so far this season and is expected to start on the righ side of the midfield whereas, on the left side, Christian Atsu should be pencilled to add some spice into the attacking setup of the Toon.
Right up front, we expect the former Napoli boss to use Joselu against his former club in order to cause damage to the opposition’s defence with his predatory instincts and unpredictable movements. Behind him as the no. 10, Ayoze Perez should be getting the nod to start this weekend.
This is how they might line up: