We thought it was more or less cut and dried that the impressive Christian Atsu would come in and start for Matt Ritchie tomorrow on the right wing, since Matt is suspended for this game due to picking up his 5th yellow card late in the game at Deepdale last Saturday.
And while the odds are that it still likely happen, Rafa Benitez today has named another three players who could deputize for the former Bournemouth winger – probably to keep the opposition manager Neil Warnock guessing a little bit.
Between Christian Atsu and DeAndre Yedlin?
This is what Rafa has said today:
“The competition is so good here,” “It could be Atsu, Perez, Yedlin further up or Anita. It could be anyone who starts, and whoever does I expect them to do well, because the team is doing well.”
“In football, these things can happen. “Ritchie is an important player for us, but we have four or five players who can do well in that position.”
The interesting player mentioned there apart from Christian Atsu is DeAndre Yedlin and maybe right wing could be the American’s future longer term position at Newcastle United?
Anyway, an hour before the game starts tomorrow it will be interesting to see what team Rafa will actually start and it’s always a guessing game.
Here is the side we think Rafa will start tomorrow and we’ve gone out on a limb and are starting both Mitro and Dwight Gayle.
Yedlin Lascelles (c) Clark Dummett
Atsu Gayle Gouffran
We have Yedlin in the side but at right back with Atsu on the right wing in place of Ritchie.
What team do you think Rafa will start tomorrow?