Newcastle United have found good momentum as they have won their previous three games back to back and are undefeated in the last four in the Premier League. Not so long ago the pressure was on Rafael Benitez to come up with the goods, and his team has certainly delivered at the right time. Next, they host West Ham United at St. James’ Park.
The Toon have been defensively solid, and they have the second best defensive record outside of the top six, and we expect them to make it hard for the likes Felipe Anderson and Marko Arnautovic to break their defensive line.
Benitez finally has some good news coming his way as Jonjo Shelvey, Yoshinori Muto and Jamaal Lascelles are back in training after missing the last two wins. Backup goalkeeper Karl Darlow has also recovered from his elbow injury.
Newcastle United Predicted Lineup vs West Ham United
Martin Dubravka is a guaranteed starter in goal for Benitez. Lascelles has started training, but it is yet not clear whether he is ready to play a full game. If fit, he should start in defence along with Fabian Schar who has done well of late. Paul Dummett missed the last encounter but we expect him to be ready for this tie and he should be back in his usual left-back role. DeAndre Yedlin should start down the right, and his pace and offensive work is a major asset for Benitez.
Benitez is set to face another selection dilemma as Ki Sung Yueng has been fantastic in the absence of Jonjo Shelvey. However, if the Englishman is fit in time, he should get the nod ahead of Sung Yueng. This could go either way though as Benitez might look to carry on with the winning team. Mohamed Diame should be the other man in central midfield, and his industrious nature makes him an essential member of this side.
Matt Ritchie has probably wrapped up the title for the miss of the season as he missed an open goal against Burnley. Thankfully it didn’t cost them any points as they won that game. He should start down the right. Chelsea loanee Kenedy is likely to start down the left flank.
With Yoshinori Muto back, Benitez has a selection headache, but Ayoze Perez should keep his place in the role of a shadow striker. Salomon Rondon has found a bit of form, and he should once again lead the line for the Magpies.