Newcastle United entered the relegation zone in the Premier League after their loss against Chelsea in their last outing. However, they would look to clinch a place in the next round of the FA Cup when they take on Blackburn Rovers in the re-match of the third round encounter with the previous one ending in a 1-1 draw.
Blackburn dished out a valiant effort in the last match against the Magpies and took the lead via Bradley Dack in the first half. However, Matt Ritchie made no mistake from the spot to take this encounter to a re-match. The Rovers would look to take full advantage of their home ground in this meeting, and it is expected to be a hard-fought affair at Ewood Park.
Newcastle United have a number of players unavailable for the clash. While Yoshinori Muto and Ki Sung Yeung have left for the Asian Cup, players like Paul Dummett and Karl Darlow are struggling with injury worries. Mohamed Diame is also on the injured list but has a good chance of making it into the starting eleven against Blackburn.
Rob Elliot is expected to start in the goal for the Magpies as Martin Dubravka gets a well-deserved rest.
The four-man backline would feature Florian Lejeune and Fabian Schar in the heart of it. Jamie Sterry would get another go in the right back position while Javier Manquillo starts on the left.
Sean Longstaff had a good game in the previous match against Blackburn and would get the nod in the rematch as well to start in the middle of the pitch. Issac Hayden would accompany him with Mo Diame likely to miss out from starting lineup. Matt Ritchie, who saved the day for Rafa Benitez’s men at St James Park, would put in a shift from the right-hand side while Christian Atsu starts on the left. Kenedy would play as the attacking midfielder right behind the striker.
Joselu would lead the line for the Magpies in this very crucial tie against the Rovers while Ayoze Perez and Salomon Rondon starts on the bench.
Predicted Formation: 4-4-1-1