What Team Will Rafa Start Against Leicester City?

We are trying to find out exactly which players will not be available for tomorrow night’s first game in charge for new manager Rafa Benitez at the King Power Stadium

There was no injury update given by Rafa yesterday and he will be taking his 3rd training session today presumably.

We do know that a few players have magically returned to fitness since Rafa arrived – which he rightly pointed yesterday was a positive sign – because they want to play for the team – they want to impress and play for Rafa.

fab coloccini rafa benitez

Fab Coloccini with Rafa Benitez at training
Is he fit?

We will assume Chancel Mbemba, Paul Dummett and Sadio Haidara are not fit for the game tomorrow night and we’ll also assume Rafa will play in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

This could be Rafa’s first team he starts as Newcastle United manager:

Janmaat Coloccini (c) Taylor Colback
Tiote Shelvey
Sissoko Wijnaldum  Townsend
Subs: Darlow Lascelles Saivet Anita Perez Aarons Doumbia

We have kept Colo as captain because maybe Rafa at least through this season will try to use Colo’s experience – and we have to remember some players are going to rise to the occasion under Rafa Benitez and play well for the team.

We just don’t know which players they will be – and some may be those who didn’t feature much under McClaren.

Anyway – that’s our best guess at what Rafa’s team will be for tomorrow night – in what is a massive game for this club.

Now to the important stuff – what team do you think Rafa will start tomorrow night?

About 70% of fans have some confidence we can get something out of this game against the league leaders.

How Will Newcastle Fare At Leicester?

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22 comments so far

  • Bambams

    Mar 13, 2016 at 1:17 PM

    Comment #1

    Would be happy if Mbabu was back, like that kid.

    I think Leicester is too close to give Rafa any chance of changing thoughts, routines, patterns of play. It should give him an indication of which players are up for the challenge.

  • Ron Knee

    Mar 13, 2016 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #2

    Bit of a massacre going on at Troyes.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 13, 2016 at 1:25 PM

    Comment #3

    It’s hard to pick a side when we don’t know who’s fit or not.


    Mar 13, 2016 at 1:27 PM

    Comment #4

    it’ll be more about the performance the morra for me mate any points we get would be a bonus….he’ll be looking to see who’s giving the reaction he’s looking for….and mbabu is a good player,like the lad just hope he’s not ganna be a another injury prone player as he has strength and talent…see him as a right back or cb of the future if fit.

  • toon kk

    Mar 13, 2016 at 1:29 PM

    Comment #6

    Is Cisse fit yet? I’m not sure what to make of him tbh, he’s pretty much useless as a team member but can often poach a goal.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 13, 2016 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #7

    Admitting to the presence of a relegation exit clause in his contract, the newly-appointed manager confirmed that he’d spoken to Alan Shearer and Peter Beardsley about the club since agreeing his deal – doubtless receiving some contrasting information as a result…
    Bit of a dig at Beardo there from Niall and Biffa

  • AncientC

    Mar 13, 2016 at 1:35 PM

    Comment #8

    Townsend, Cisse and Coloccini will need to be assessed tomorrow. Tiote looks the least doubtful out of the 4 maybes.

    Assuming none of the above play.


    Elliot may not even be guaranteed his place, he has looked a bit dodgy in the last few games, if Darlow is looking the part in training, you just never know. My team is only a guess at how he will set up, not my pick.

  • toon kk

    Mar 13, 2016 at 1:44 PM

    Comment #9

    In the poll what’s suddenly made so many people think that our second bottom team that has struggled for a long time will suddenly beat high flying Leicester? Rafa has hardly had time to access us, he didn’t bring any new players with him,
    Rafa has brought hope but not garenteed results, that remains to be seen, our players have a lot to prove first.

  • jakesome

    Mar 13, 2016 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #10

    @ancient Rafa is a smart man, he’s not going to play 6 players out of position

  • JackButler

    Mar 13, 2016 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #11

    I think who plays is not as important as what attitude and mentality the players that play show when on the pitch. We have seen our strongest 11 ripped apart while a makeshift 11 hold its own. We have talent and real ability right throughout the squad but it’s the attitude that’s killed us so many times

  • jakesome

    Mar 13, 2016 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #12


  • Ian Toon

    Mar 13, 2016 at 1:50 PM

    Comment #13

    The supporters groups at Newcastle had planned to unfurl their #SportsDirectShame banner at the King Power Stadium tomorrow night but have decided against it in preference to supporting their new manager.
    Word must have just reached them via The Mag.


    Mar 13, 2016 at 1:56 PM

    Comment #14

    im expecting a cracking atmosphere the morra night leicester are always vocal and hopefully the team will give the toon to something to sing about.

  • AncientC

    Mar 13, 2016 at 2:00 PM

    Comment #15

    jakesome, who are the six out of position?

    Rafa has no choice with the LB position. Colback played LB for Sunderland.

    Janmaat is out of position, but Lascelles is a big lad and a mobile CB over Taylor would make sense. Rafa will not want Janmaat crusading up the pitch either – Janmaat also has leadership qualities which will be needed beside Lascelles.

    Anita has played full back for Ajax.

    Sissoko was a central midfielder, it was Pardew turned him into a right winger. Saivet is in his natural position.

    Shelvey is a right footed CM or AM, pushing out a bit further to the right shouldn’t be a problem.

    De Jong is in his position.

    Wijnaldum has played more good games on the left than central, although he likes to drift inside. Being on the left of a 3 behind a striker, Wijnaldum can naturally drift in as he isn’t expected to be wide on the flank.

    Perez is where he should be.

  • jakesome

    Mar 13, 2016 at 2:04 PM

    Comment #16

    Yea Shelvey’s blistering pace would be a great asset on the wing. Wiji is not in the game when he plays on the left. We have tried Sissoko at CM and it does not work. Anita is a makeshift RB at best. Janmatt at CB must be a joke surely. De Jong’s best position is at Benton……..

  • AncientC

    Mar 13, 2016 at 2:08 PM

    Comment #17

    jakesome, the 3 behind a striker are AM, not wingers. Janmaat has played CB before and did very well.

    I ask again, who are the 6 players out of position?

    Apart from Janmaat, and possibly Shelvey, they are all playing natural positions to them. I moved Shelvey further forward because I expect Rafa to want both of his defensive midfielder to be fully concentrated on protecting the back 4. How Sissoko has played in CM in the past is the past, he is currently floundering on the wing. As an athletic player, Rafa may want to use his pace to shut the opposition out.

  • dpatte4r43

    Mar 13, 2016 at 2:32 PM

    Comment #18

    I always thought that God is a Geordie, now I know he is, more miracles please HTL

  • Shadow_Shearer

    Mar 13, 2016 at 2:46 PM

    Comment #19

    My team would be . .

    Elliot in goals, although I may give darlsow a chance, since Elliot had looked doggy.

    Janmaat, taylor lascelle colback
    Sissoko shelvey
    Wijnaldum perez aarons

  • Magtoonpie

    Mar 13, 2016 at 5:58 PM

    Comment #20

    Shadow I like your formation except I wouldn’t play Taylor as I think he was giving his all under mcclaren. I would bring back Colo. I think he will go back to his old form under Rafa. I think Rafa has had enough time to think of a great formation after all he has plenty of footage of what not to do.

  • Jarra

    Mar 13, 2016 at 6:54 PM

    Comment #21

    Janmaat Coloccini (c) Lascelles Mabu
    Tiote Shelvey
    Sissoko Wijnaldum Townsend

  • maikelw

    Mar 14, 2016 at 6:01 AM

    Comment #22

    Why is steven taylor even mentioned in the starting line up? Both him and collicini are not fast. Every long ball just given behind our central defenders and they stood no chance with opponents fast strikers. Is lascalles not good enough? When will Ashley fire charnley and carr for building up a team without any balance? Our midfield and attack is more then premier league average level but our defense is championship level.


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