Newcastle United aren’t in a good touch for quite some time now, having lost 8 of their last 9 games in the Premier League and drawing 1. After their 1-0 defeat at the hands of Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium last weekend, their confidence is at an all-time low and the Toon are placed at the 18th spot in the league table with 15 points to their name after 18 games.
Today, they face West Ham United, who have picked up their form under the tutelage of their new manager, David Moyes. Here is how we expected Newcastle United to start the proceedings at the London Stadium this weekend.
There is indeed an intense competition between two goalkeepers in the shapes of Karl Darlow and Rob Elliot for bagging a place between the sticks for the Geordies. However, having used Elliot against Arsenal last weekend, it is expected that Benitez will continue to do so this time around as well.
Jamaal Lascelles is anticipated to captain the side once again and find a place at the heart of his side’s defence, and alongside him, Florian Lejeune should get a nod to start as he is in quite a decent form of late. While the left-back slot is likely to go to Javier Manquillo yet again, DeAndre Yedlin is likely to get the nod to start from the right-back position to showcase his industry.
Jonjo Shelvey’s silly offence which handed him a red card against Everton implies that he is set to serve his second of the two-match ban. However, this shouldn’t be a major headache for the former Napoli boss as he has the requisite amount of talents at his disposal to fill his midfield.
Isaac Hayden and Mikel Merino are expected to pair up once again in the middle. Both of them have been quite resilient and Benitez is unlikely to rotate them. From the right-wing position, Matt Ritchie should start to supply quality balls whereas, from the left-wing, Christian Atsu would be a very sensible option.
Dwight Gayle is still far from being the player he was last season but in a game against the Irons, one must expect him to start and score. He has smashed merely 3 goals in 15 appearances in the Premier League this season and he certainly needs to up the ante from here onwards. Alongside him, Joselu is likely to start, although he has been below par lately.