Newcastle have just announced their team for the FA Cup 3rd round replay tonight at St. James’ Park against Birmingham City and three youngsters start this game – Dan Barlasar, Yasin Ben El-Mhanni and Stuart Findlay.
And another big surprise is that both Daryl Murphy and Ayoze Perez do not start this game and captain Jamaal Lascelles is on the bench too.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) January 18, 2017
It’s a surprising team that Rafa has selected for tonight’s game and there’s no doubt the Championship is the priority.
And Rob Elliot is on the subs bench tonight – Rob Elliot, Paul Dummett, Jamaal Lascelles, Jack Colback, Isaac Hayden, Ayoze Perez and Daryl Murphy.
Jonjo Shelvey returns and he will wear the captain’s armband.
Former Celtic youngster Findlay will partner Hanley in central defense with Dan Barlaser starting in central midfiled with Cheick Tiote – and Matt Ritchie and El-Mhanni are the wingers.
Yoan Gouffran will start up front in the position he loves to play in – out-and-out striker – so it’s a 4-2-3-1 formation again.
Yedlin Hanley Findlay Lazaar
Ritchie Shelvey (c) El-Mhanni
That looks like 13 changes to the team from Saturday.
But we think it’s actually 8 with Yedlin, Gouffran and Ritchie the survivors from Saturday – so to speak.
Well we still hope we can get through this game ….. huge opportunity for the three young lads.
This is what Rafa said about the game with over 30,000 tickets having been sold for this game:
“To get more than 30,000 is just fantastic. That shows again how good our fans are.”
“But also the importance of doing well in every game no matter what the competition.”
“We have to protect the team, so I can’t risk any player that has a knock or a problem. We know that Rotherham is also very close.”
“We’ll try, I always say the same, we can go through using our squad.” “If we can’t then we can’t, but we have to try with the players who are ready and fit to play.”
“Murphy is a really good professional and a player who can score goals in this division.” “That’s been very helpful in recent games.”
“Hopefully he can be an important player for us for the rest of the season.”
“It also means we have balance in terms of experience and young players, that is always important because it gives you a boost in difficult circumstances.”
A vast majority of fans think we will win this game – let’s hope they are right.
Howay The Lads!!