It could be that Rafa Benitez picks a conservative team to play our first match for over six years in the Championship tomorrow night at Fulham.
It’s too soon for new signings Ciaran Clark and Mo Diame to participate and we don’t even expect them to be on the bench although they will travel with the squad.
Jamaal Lascelles – Newcastle captain for first competitive game
The difficult positions that Rafa has to choose are the two holding midfielders – and it’s absolutely obvious he will start Vurnon Anita somewhere.
So this is the side he could start tomorrow night:
Janmaat Mbemba Lascelles (c) Dummett
Ritchie Perez Aarons
Subs: Darlow Sterry Gamez Hanley Tiote Hayden Shelvey
That’s a defensive looking pair without much creativity in Colback and Anita and maybe Hayden could get a start in place of Colback?
Raga could even start Vurnon on the right hand side of midfield to the exclusion of Rolando Aarons – which is basically the side he started against Vitesse with Mbemba fit again and back in for Hanley.
When the more recently arrived players settle in more we will see Grant Hanley pushing for a start at center-back and Hayden, Clark and Mo Diame all pushing for a starting role.
Ciaran Clark will be pushing for a center-back berth, but since he’s left footed and can play at full-back – he will be competing with Paul Dummett for a start at left back.
We think Rafa will pick the players tomorrow who have played most in pre-season so they are used to playing together.
What team would you start tomorrow night along with the subs?