Newcastle United will host a resurgent Manchester United side at St. James’ Park tonight. Rafael Benitez’s men managed to bag just one point against Watford in their last game and are currently placed at the 15th spot in the league table with 18 points to their name after 20 outings.
Newcastle United Team News
Federico Fernandez suffered a hip injury against the Hornets and is unlikely to start in the midweek fixture. While Ciaran Clark remains doubtful owing to his ankle injury, Ki Sung-Yeung is on international duty with South Korea and is therefore unavailable.
Jonjo Shelvey made his return from injury at the Vicarage Road and the veteran midfielder is expected to start against Manchester United. Florian Lejeune is anticipated to make his return in the FA Cup fixture against Blackburn Rovers this weekend.
PREDICTED NEWCASTLE UNITED LINE-UP VS MANCHESTER UNITED (5-4-1)
Martin Dubravka is likely to get the nod to start between the sticks yet again for the Magpies. The custodian made some really good saves against Watford and he will be aiming for a strong performance against a rejuvenated Manchester United side.
Matt Ritchie and DeAndre Yedlin are expected to keep their respective fullback spots. Benitez is likely to go with Fabian Schar in the central defence alongside Jamaal Lascelles and Paul Dummett if Fernandez stays sidelined in the upcoming fixture.
Lascelles has been solid in patches at the back and he will look forward to showcasing his best game against the red half of Manchester. The 25-year-old has made 1.1 tackles, 1.3 interceptions, 6.8 clearances and 0.9 blocks on an average per game in 16 Premier League outings.
Isaac Hayden could be sacrificed to accommodate Shelvey in central midfield tonight. With Mohamed Diame expected to start alongside him, it will be an intriguing combination to watch. The duo has to boss the midfield and dictate the tempo of the game coming up against an in-form Paul Pogba.
Christian Atsu looked threatening against Watford and he is set to get yet another start under his belt from the wide area on the left. Meanwhile, Ayoze Perez should also be able to keep his place in the starting XI. The Spaniard has scored 2 goals and registered 1 assist so far in the league.
Salomon Rondon deserves to lead the line once again after a galvanizing performance against Watford. In 14 league appearances, the striker has managed to bag 5 goals and 2 assists and it will be interesting to see how he fares against a similarly physical United side.
Statistics Credits: WhoScored