Newcastle United will be travelling to Wembley on Wednesday evening for their Premier League fixture against Tottenham Hotspur. The Magpies have already secured their place in the English top-flight despite losing to West Brom and Watford in the past two games.
They are currently in the 10th spot of the points table, 8 points clear off the relegation zone. Tottenham, on the other hand, could be the subject of a last-minute slip up to lose their place in the top-four. A desperate West Bromwich Albion side handed them their 7th loss of the Premier League season this Sunday with an injury-time goal from Jake Livermore.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side were devastated to see their 5-point lead over Chelsea get reduced to 2 with 2 games still left in the regular season. Collecting all three points will be hard against the defensive setup Rafael Benitez has set in place at Newcastle.
The Magpies might be on a downward trajectory at the moment but they did manage to upstage two of the top-six sides this year. They beat Manchester United earlier in the year by 1 goal to nil while Arsenal too were held to a 2-1 defeat in mid-April.
United were supposed to undergo the toughest final stretch of the season which obviously raised questions about their survival odds. However, even with the lack of any permanent January signing, Benitez has found a way to grind out miraculous results in the most unexpected of ways. The Tyneside outfit has successfully crossed the 40-point mark and is eagerly awaiting preparations for the following campaign.
They might not have much to fight for in the remaining 2 games of the season but losing is not in their plans. Benitez and his men might want to bounce back to winning ways and here is how the Spaniard might field his team to achieve that.
Martin Dubravka is the predicted starter in between the sticks, well ahead of Karl Darlow and Rob Elliot. The 29-year-old has made life easier for Benitez and could be promised a busy night.
Jamaal Lascelles and Florian Lejeune are expected to get paired up in the centre-back position while Ciaran Clark remains a doubt.
DeAndre Yedlin might provide cover from the right with Paul Dummett fielded on the right.
Mohamed Diame is set to appear in the holding midfield role alongside the creatively charged Jonjo Shelvey.
Kenedy and Matt Ritchie are to occupy the wings.
Islam Slimani is still serving the three-match suspension. That leaves Dwight Gayle and Ayoze Perez upfront.