Predicted 4-2-3-1 Newcastle United XI Vs Stoke City: A Key Change In Attack?

The story so far

Newcastle United started their new Premier League campaign quite decently as they have won two and lost two out of four matches. They sit with six points on the tenth position in the table and would hope to better their performances.

The Magpies will next face Stoke City. Stoke has been in a rich vein of form as they have beaten Arsenal and held United to a gritty draw last week. Newcastle faces a challenging match ahead of them this time around. Here is our predicted starting lineup for Newcastle United:

Formation: 4-2-3-1

GK: Robert Elliot

Elliot is Rafa Benitez’s favourite man to guard the posts. He is a safe and decent choice for Newcastle amongst the available options.

RB: Javier Manquillo

Though he does not possess enough pace to run down the flanks, he performs his defensive duties decently. Manquillo might have to improve his concentration to be a regular in the side.

CB: Jamaal Lascelles

The captain has been in red-hot form for his club this season. He has been leading from the front and has led the backline well. Offensively too, he has been given more freedom by Benitez and scored last match’s only goal against Swansea. His ability to make passes to the midfield and move ahead is appreciative.

CB: Ciaran Clark

Ciaran Clark is a defensive beast, to be honest. His mere presence inside the box makes it difficult for the forwards to move past him. He has been used well by Rafa. Like his partner Lascelles, even Clark likes to move forward with the ball often.

LB: Jesus Gamez

Gamez is a decent left back who sticks to the work assigned to him by the manager. He does not try too many things but does not commit mistakes either which makes him a safe bet to be in the starting lineup.

CDM: Mikel Merino

Merino does the job of shielding the back four and adds up to be the third centre-half sometimes. He helps his team to regain possession and controls the pace of the game by playing deep in the midfield.

CDM: Issac Hayden

Hayden is opposite to his midfield partner. Unlike Merino, he likes to move ahead and links up with the attacking midfielders well. He is strong and shrugs players off often.

AM(R): Matt Ritchie

The 25-year old is a thorough attacking midfielder. His pace combined with the vision in front of the goal is superb. Ritchie likes to cut in from the wings and takes long shots well. His crossing ability is amazing and is an undoubted starter in this lineup.

AM(C): Ayoze Perez

Ayoze Perez’s versatility means that he can play anywhere in attack. However, the number 10 position brings out the best in him.

AM(L): Christian Atsu

Atsu might return in place of Murphy after being surprisingly benched last week.

FW: Joselu

Joselu is expected to be given another start and he would like to cash in on his good run of form and cement his place.

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