Rafa Benitez has just named his first team ever to play in the English Championship in this Newcastle’s very first game of the season – and Rafa has names a team in which 5 players will be making their debuts for the side..
Newcastle (4-2-3-1): Matz Sels; Daryl Janmaat, Grant Hanley, Jamaal Lascelles (c), Paul Dummett; Isaac Hayden, Jack Colback; Vurnon Anita, Ayoze Perez, Matt Ritchie; Dwight Gayle
Substitutes: Karl Darlow, Jamie Sterry, Chancel Mbemba, Jesus Gamez, Jonjo Shelvey, Rolando Aarons, Adam Armstrong
It seems that Grant Hanley impressed last Saturday and he keeps out Chancel Mbemba who is on the bench and Isaac Hayden also gets a start.
The two holding midfielders are Jack Colback and Issac Hayden, with Vurnon Anita again starting on the wing to the exclusion of Rolando Aarons and Paul Dummett starts at left-back – as expected.
Another local lad – Jamie Sterry is also on the bench tonight with Armstrong.
Rafa says Newcastle have done their homework, but that it will be a very tough game tonight:
“We have a lot of respect for Fulham. We have seen some of their games, they beat Crystal Palace 3-1 in pre-season, so they are doing well. They have a good manager, they know what to do, and it will be tough,”
“I don’t see an easy game, for sure, and I think we have to be sure that we approach every game with a lot of respect for the teams, because it will be more difficult than people are expecting now.”
“We have done our homework, and we know it will be very difficult to beat them.”
“Fulham will approach this game with confidence, because they are doing well. They don’t concede too many goals, they play good football,” he said.
“They like to play from the back, but they can play with a big man up front, so they have players between the lines with ability.
“I don’t think that they will be scared – they will have a game plan, and they will follow the instructions of their manager. It will be very tough.”
This will by no means be an easy game for Newcastle.
Three in four fans still expect us to win this game tonight.