Rafa Benitez had just named his team for the important game at Loftus Road tonight and there are only three changes from the side that beat Derby 2-0 on Saturday.
Newcastle: Sels: Anita Lascelles (c) Clark Dummett; Shelvey, Hayden; Ritchie Perez Gouffran; Mitrovic
Subs: Darlow, Yedlin, Hanley, Colback, Diame, Atsu, Gayle
Jonjo Shelvey starts his third game in a row this time partnering young Issac Hayden in central midfield.
Ayoze Perez comes in at the number 10 position in place of Mohamed Diame and Ciaran Clark gets a start next to captain Lascelles in place of Mbemba.
So Colback, Diame and Gayle are rested tonight and it’s another strong side.
This is what Rafa has said about tonight’s game and also about his philosophy for the season:
“It will be very difficult. We have seen them working and playing, and it’s hard to beat them. We have to be sure we are ready,”
“It will be difficult. They have pace, they have strong players, they can score set pieces, so it’s a good team, working very hard and scoring goals, so we have to be sure that we will have the confidence.”
“What we do, we did last year, without too much time.” “This year, we keep working on the pitch in terms of tactics and in terms of understanding of the game, the understanding between players.”
“Some of them are the same players, but it’s just to be sure that they know what their teammate is doing, and trying to get everybody doing the same things.”
“We have the same ideas, and then something could be wrong, but everybody knows that that is the idea. Everybody has to be on the same page.” “After some bad times, when they have good times they have to enjoy it – that is normal.”
“But at the same time, our message and my message is very clear. There’s nothing done yet, so we have to keep working hard, we have to keep training and playing in the same way as a team, with the same team spirit, the same intensity, and it has to be like this for months.”
“It’s not that we are talking about one or two games or one month, it has to be for months. Last year, Hull had a great advantage at the beginning or in the first part of the season, and after they had some problems.”
“You know that it is a very difficult competition, with two games a week, and everything can change in one month, so we have to carry on, enjoy it if we can – especially the fans – but for us, we have to concentrate and keep working hard.”
Newcastle fans are quite confident of a win tonight at Loftus Road.