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Is This Newcastle’s Best Team For Manchester City?

7:11 pm, Monday, April 18th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 35 Comments

With the excellent performance of the Newcastle team last Saturday against Swansea we don’t think Rafa will make many changes to the side for the game tomorrow night against an in-form Manchester City side.

In his press conference at 1:00 pm today Rafa admitted he had not yet made his mind up about what team to start and who would be the captain.

Against Swansea he played Jack Colback and Cheick Tiote in the two defensive midfield holding positions to give some solidity to the defense – and we expect him to keep both players in the starting line-up.


Aleksandar Mitrovic last Saturday
Could start tomorrow night

What we don’t want tomorrow night is to concede an early goal or early goals.

One change Rafa could make is to start Aleksandar Mitrovic in place of Papiss Cisse, after Mitro had an excellent 10 minute cameo appearance where he had an assists on both Sissoko and Townsend goals.

And late into stoppage time he was straight through on goal but screwed his shot just wide of the post.

Here ‘s the team that Benitez could start tomorrow night in a game we must really win to keep our hopes high that we can beat relegation.

Anita Mbemba Lascelles Dummett
Tiote Colback
Townsend Wijnaldum Sissoko (c)
Subs: Woodman Shelvey de Jong Saivet Cisse Obertan Perez

One player who may be left out of the side is Gini Wijnaldum who had another off day on Saturday – and Rafa has shown he is not afraid to drop any player if he thinks it would be good for the team.

If Gini is left out then Siem de Jong or Jonjo Shelvey could fill in at that number 10 position.

In fact maybe it would be good to start Jonjo there?

What would be your team for tomorrow night?

Less than one in three fans think we can win this game.

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35 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Bobbybee // Apr 18, 2016 at 7:19 PM

    Maybe a great time to see what Shelvey can do playing further forward. Can’t see what Gini has done to warrant his place to be honest. When you consider how well he played earlier this season, his recent performances are baffling and infuriating. If Mbabu is fit I’d play him ahead of Anita.

  • 2 HarrogateMag // Apr 18, 2016 at 7:19 PM

    Yes Gine was ineffective again on Saturday and Rafa seemed to be bending his ear thoughout so I prefer Perez before him

  • 3 Hail Wor Ashley // Apr 18, 2016 at 7:29 PM

    Shelvey for Gini is a good call. If anyone can time an early pass to Cisse so he isn’t offside, it’s Shelvey and playing further forward will suit him. His long shots providing extra goal-threat to go with Townsend’s similar ability. Quite a big unit too, so much better equipped to compete physically with Toure and Fernandinho.

    In any case, Gini is the prime candidate for the chop, if anybody.

  • 4 Jail for Ashley // Apr 18, 2016 at 7:29 PM

    £36 for the cheapest ticket tomorrow night. Greedy fcukers, you’d think they would drop it down for a televised midweek game especially when we need as many voices as we can get.

  • 5 Bobbybee // Apr 18, 2016 at 7:33 PM

    Advantage of being a ST holder jail! 🙂

  • 6 welshgeordie9 // Apr 18, 2016 at 7:34 PM

    We will beat Man City tomorrow, it’s about time we kicked their ass.

  • 7 Spoof // Apr 18, 2016 at 7:38 PM

    Gini played on the left against Swansea and no way could Shelvey play there, if Shelvey came back in as an attacking midfielder we would have to move Sissoko from the middle to the right and move Townsend to the left, would it be wise to change what did work well on Saturday, if Shelvey is to get back in then it would have to be for either Tiote or Colback and against City I feel that would be suicidal, keep them as they were with Tiote and Colback doing the donkey work which allowed Sissoko and especially Townsend the freedom to attack which they did so well on Saturday, if Gini is to be left out then it has to be for Aarons.

  • 8 Bobbybee // Apr 18, 2016 at 7:38 PM

    Hail, seems like a no brainer to me. As well as his obvious attacking attributes, Shelvey could also drop back if we are getting overrun in midfield and lend a hand where required. Might be the back hander across the napper Gini needs to buck his ideas up as well.

  • 9 Spoof // Apr 18, 2016 at 7:41 PM

    Shelvey for Gini cannot happen as we would be hopelessly unbalanced !

  • 10 Bobbybee // Apr 18, 2016 at 7:43 PM

    Anita/Mbabu Lascelles Mbemba Dummett
    Tiote Colback
    Sissoko Shelvey Townsend

  • 11 Bambams // Apr 18, 2016 at 7:43 PM

    Shelvey needs to get more into games, he needs too much time on the ball and he won’t get that against Citeh.

    Wini has had enough games and he is hot and cold.

    I genuinely thought SDJ would of had some game time by now.

    Heart says a draw…head doesn’t agree. What it would mean to get three points ! Need a lenient ref to allow Tiote to have a few ‘badly timed’ tackles. All the stars need to be aligned tomorrow

  • 12 Tsunki // Apr 18, 2016 at 7:45 PM

    Aye if you’d bought the 6 game offer you’d be laughing now Jail. Ok maybe not .

    I second that about Wijnaldum. I raved about his first few performances where he turned and paced away from players with ease and made acres of space at will. Where on earth did that guy go?

  • 13 Hail Wor Ashley // Apr 18, 2016 at 7:46 PM

    Nah, keep Townsend on the RW and Sissoko on the LW. Gini plays narrow when on the LW anyway, Sissoko can do likewise.

  • 14 Spoof // Apr 18, 2016 at 7:47 PM


    why move Sissoko from the middle where he done well and move him back to the right where he has been so ineffective, Sissoko is best in the middle but has not played there so Gini could, Gini has been poor so Sissoko moved there against Swansea and done well, why move him back to where he is ineffective.

  • 15 Lindisfarne // Apr 18, 2016 at 7:49 PM


    Although I think a 433 would be better, Benetez is more likely to keep playing 4231 and with Sissoko in the middle, as he has not only come to the fore but the player has stated that that is where he thinks he should play. Therefore I think Shelvey could possibly move to the right and with Townsend left, get plenty of crosses in to the box with both Mitro and Sissoko challenging their CL defenders.

  • 16 Bobbybee // Apr 18, 2016 at 7:51 PM

    Retaining Gini is doing what we’ve been screaming about forever – rewarding failure. It’s no coincidence that the improvement shown on Saturday came without Taylor, Collo or Janmaat. Again Gini was anonymous apart from one flick on. We can’t carry players at this stage of the season and in an ideal world I’d drop Sissoko as well.

  • 17 Hail Wor Ashley // Apr 18, 2016 at 7:55 PM

    Perez is another option, but I don’t like him anywhere other than in the poachers position from the start. Gets to elaborate on the ball at times and hasn’t shown that ability to improvise recently that made him so exciting, plus he doesn’t have that extra yard of pace for the LW, later in matches coming on as a sub against tired legs it’s a different story, but not the solution to starting LW.

    That’s why earlier I suggested Obertan. Will give us similar on the LW to what Townsend does on the RW, his attitude and work ethic aren’t issues these days. If we’re gonna absorb and counter, him, Sissoko and Townsend provide plenty of thrust on the break.

  • 18 Bobbybee // Apr 18, 2016 at 7:55 PM

    Regardless of set up – who plays where – we can’t keep picking Gini. Fine, move it around a bit. Shove Shelvey wide and reward Sissoko for one half decent game all season if you must, but right now we need players fighting for survival. Sissoko and Gini have let us down for weeks and weeks. One decent game doesn’t alter that fact.

  • 19 Hail Wor Ashley // Apr 18, 2016 at 7:56 PM


  • 20 Lindisfarne // Apr 18, 2016 at 7:59 PM

    I would have agreed with you last week but I think Sissoko has earned his place in the next match and playing CL semi-finalists on TV will be great motivation.

    I just wonder if subbing Tiote was an attempt to save him for the City game or because he is not capable of 90 minutes. If it is the latter it has got to be between Shelvey and Wijnaldum as to who replaces him and who starts.

    I also wonder how likely it is that de Jong, Aarons or de Jong will actually get a start whilst we are still in with a long shot of staying up.

  • 21 welshgeordie9 // Apr 18, 2016 at 7:59 PM

    How about sissoko alongside tiote as the two defensive midfielders, toure always do well against us when he charges forward but if we put sissoko in front of him then that should work.

  • 22 Lindisfarne // Apr 18, 2016 at 7:59 PM

    # de Jong (II) = Obertron

  • 23 Bobbybee // Apr 18, 2016 at 8:01 PM

    Shame to interrupt this, but I need my tablet to watch the Spurs game. 😉 Later maybe?

  • 24 Spoof // Apr 18, 2016 at 8:03 PM

    For the first time in an age we looked balanced, Sissoko in his preferred position done far better than what Gini has done for quite a while and Townsend who I happen to dislike greatly will if the Swansea game is anything to go by prove me wrong as he caused all sorts of problems, we have to keep them where they are and we must not upset the balance, if changes are to be made then is has to be like for like, Mbabu for Anita, Obertan or Aarons for Gini, De Jong or Gini for Sissoko, but lets keep the balance that we had against Swansea as we did look like a team rather than 11 individuals as we have done almost all of this season.

  • 25 SPRINGY // Apr 18, 2016 at 8:04 PM

    i slated gini after the game on saturday but when i watched the game again later he did get thru a hell of a lot unseen work,closing down,tracking runners and getting tackles in yes he needs to be better offensively,create more,more shots but had to eat my words a little after i watched it again….obertan for him maybe as he is willing to work,but think shelvey does’nt have the engine to do the running involved to track back and get forward,and aarons has been caught out numerous times for his defensive abilities….i think it may be the same side that started against swansea myself.

  • 26 Spoof // Apr 18, 2016 at 8:07 PM


    I hope it is the same side as its the first time in an age where we looked like a team !

  • 27 Lindisfarne // Apr 18, 2016 at 8:09 PM


    You could put Mitro in the same category as Gini and Soks, as he largely fails to deliver when starting. I would like to think that the slight improvement in the team is a result of some sense of competition for places. Benitez has rotated the starting positions in order to find the team with most organisation.

  • 28 beermonkey // Apr 18, 2016 at 8:10 PM

    is it worth changing a winning team

    i would bring mitro in for cisse but mitro has been doing great from the bench
    the other thing looks like kompany could make a start some1 who can run at and in behind him he isnt going to like are they rushing him back so he is maybe fit for madrid next week

  • 29 Fostino // Apr 18, 2016 at 8:11 PM

    Yaya vs sissoko. ..beast vs beast

    Colback only job is to follow de bryne everywhere. Tiote sit in front of back four. Dmemba..follow aguro. Dummett..Anita sit approach with caution

    Total counter attacking football then in the form of mitro to hold it up…townsand..wini and maybe pace in the form of arrons or obertan

  • 30 Fostino // Apr 18, 2016 at 8:18 PM

    City weakness is rash defending…pump some quick balls into them at pace and reap the rewards. So we need pace. Mitro will boss mangle or it amend. Their strength us aguro ..De bryne right now….cancel their treat and hope the likes of silva..yaya..nasri have an off day.

  • 31 Tsunki // Apr 18, 2016 at 8:18 PM

    Why does Sissoko continue to entity in the same sentence as variations of the word “defence”? He made a great tackle last game. One. I think he did another one this year.

  • 32 martoon // Apr 18, 2016 at 8:23 PM

    I think our best chance is to chase & harry them to try and tire them as it is their third match in a week. You do get the odd freak result at the end of the season – maybe just maybe…………………………..

  • 33 Patoon // Apr 18, 2016 at 10:12 PM

    Ur a sad man ed, how can that b our best side with Gini in it, it’s like carrying a dead weight ffs, he hasn’t performed in months, on sat I didn’t even realise he came out after half time til he was took off after 70 mins, he’s been shit, don’t kno about anybody else but I’d start obertan tomorrow nite as I think we’re could hit them on the counter and wil need pace

  • 34 c-dog // Apr 19, 2016 at 1:27 PM

    Shelvey in at advanced CM would be interesting. He’s definitely not the player to play there week in week out but with his chasing and closing down we could disrupt cities holding CM’s big time. Wijnaldum is lazy and drifts in and out of games. The only time he busts a gut is when he may get a chance to score. 99% of the time he’s anonymous.

  • 35 goosegog // Apr 19, 2016 at 5:34 PM

    i aint got a clue how sissoko is a footballer,dejong is a footballer

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