After a hard-fought draw against Southampton in the previous round of the domestic league, Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle United are back in action this weekend as they welcome Crystal Palace to the St James’ Park on Saturday. The Magpies will look to slowly climb up the table but face a Palace side who are fresh from beating Antonio Conte’s champions-elect Chelsea side last weekend.
Roy Hodgson’s side are still languishing at the bottom of the points table but will be high on confidence going into this tie. However, playing at home, Newcastle will look to stop them from building momentum.
Paul Dummett and Massadio Haidara remain long-term absentees for the side at the moment. Dwight Gayle might be back in contention but is not expected to be fit enough to start in this game.
Here is the predicted lineup they might field for this tie against the Eagles:
Expected line up (4-4-2)
Rafa loves to stick with his compact system and will go with a four-man defensive line for this game. Rob Elliot has been decent in goal and will keep his place at the back for the Magpies.
Jamaal Lascelles has been exemplary at the back this season and will have to lead his backline. He will be partnered by Florian Lejeune, who has also been in decent form at the start of the new season. It was his error which led to the penalty in the last game though and he’ll look to be steadier this time.
DeAndre Yedlin has done an excellent job at right-back but will be under pressure against the Eagles while Javier Manquillo will look to create chances from the left-back role.
Isaac Hayden and Jonjo Shelvey have formed a formidable partnership in the middle of the park for the Magpies this season. Both players have contrast styles of play and will make it hard for the Baggies to keep them from running the game in the midfield.
To add width to the midfield, Matt Ritchie is expected to be stationed on the right wing while Christian Atsu, who is growing in confidence by the game, will start on the left wing.
The Magpies have not been able to score enough goals to kill games off but Rafa has stuck with first-choice striker Joselu to lead the line. He is not expected to make any chances and should use 27-year old in the attack in this game as well.
He will be partnered by Ayoze Perez, who scored an important goal in the previous game for Newcastle. Here is how they might line up: