We are more than halfway through the season, and this is often the time when bottom clubs mark out certain games in their calendar where they think they need to get full three points. Newcastle United are set to host Cardiff City at St. James’ Park. The Magpies trail the Bluebirds by one point and are sitting in the relegation zone, and we are quite sure that Rafael Benitez would target this game to gain all three points. However, Cardiff City have shown that they can be a tough nut to crack.
We are expecting a cagey affair and one goal might do the trick. But, this being a home game, Newcastle fans would want their team to go all out and inflict a loss on their fellow relegation rivals.
Jamaal Lascelles came on as a substitute for injured Ciaran Clark in the FA Cup replay against Blackburn Rovers and after 12 minutes, Lascelles himself left the pitch in what seemed like a hamstring injury. Rafael Benitez has maintained (The Chronicle) that both the defenders aren’t seriously injured.
Mohamed Diame, Paul Dummett and Karl Darlow are out with injuries. Yoshinori Muto and Ki Sung Yueng are unavailable as they have left the squad to represent their national side in the Asia Cup. Jonjo Shelvey is likely to be assessed just before the game.
Newcastle United Predicted Lineup vs Cardiff City
Martin Dubravka is expected to come back in goal after he was rested in the midweek FA Cup win against Blackburn Rovers. Jamaal Lascelles injury isn’t too serious so he should make a recovery to start in this all-important clash. He is expected to start in the middle of a back five. On either side of him, Florian Lejeune and Fabian Schar are expected to start.
In the wing-back role, Matt Ritchie is likely to start on the left in the absence of Paul Dummett. DeAndre Yedlin is a nailed on starter on the right side.
It could go either way with Jonjo Shelvey, but if fit, he is going to start in midfield. Sean Longstaff should continue as the other midfielder in the absence of Mohamed Diame.
Out wide, Ayoze Perez is likely to start on the right flank. However, he would often come inside and try to occupy the central areas as well. Christian Atsu is expected to start from the left.
Salomon Rondon didn’t play any part in the midweek clash and it was clear that the manager was protecting him for this big game. The Venezuelan is expected to lead the line for the Toon.