Atsu, Colback, Gayle And Perez Start Against Brentford

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Rafa Benitez has just named his side for the tough test against Brentford this afternoon at St. James’ Park and Dwight Gayle keeps his position up front as does Christian Atsu on the right wing, who was so outstanding against Rotherham last time out.

And as we had thought Ayoze Perez gets a start in the number 10 position in place of the out-of-form Mo Diame, who is on the bench.

There is also no Matt Ritchie who is not even on the bench because the news is he has taken ill – and Chancel Mbemba is not available because he has  a leg injury.

Newcastle (4-4-1-1): Karl Darlow; Vurnon Anita, Jamaal Lascelles (c), Ciaran Clark, Paul Dummett; Christian Atsu, Jonjo Shelvey, Jack Colback, Yoan Gouffran; Ayoze Perez; Dwight Gayle
Substitutes: Matz Sels, DeAndre Yedlin, Achraf Lazaar, Grant Hanley, Isaac Hayden, Mohamed Diame, Aleksandar Mitrovic

Newcastle will continue to play in the familiar 4-2-3-1 formation and the bench is extremely strong as might have been expected.

This is what Rafa has said about our opponents today:

“We have to concentrate on the next game. Brentford are a good team – they’re doing well, they’re scoring goals and they’re not conceding too many.”

“Hopefully we can play at the level we can play, and we can do well, win and enjoy two days more, because after we have another game against Barnsley.”

“I think that they play well on the counter attack, but also they score goals. They defend well, they counter attack, they play well, they pass the ball – they’re a good team.”

“Hopefully we can attack and be on top of them all the time and then created chances in this way. But I don’t see them playing so deep that they will not cope, or will not create chances.”

85% of fans think we will win this game today.

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Howay The Lads!!