Rafa has just announced his starting line-up for today’s important game at home to Derby County and Jamaal Lascelles is on the bench – supposedly with a groin strain – but why’s he on the bench if has a groin strain?
In comes Grant Hanley, Mo Diame and up front is Aleksandar Mitrovic who replaces Daryl Murphy.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) February 4, 2017
All three players will want to take their chance today and they should all be hungry.
So that looks like a fairly strong side for a game we really have to win to get our promotion push back on track.
And Rob Elliot, after his good performance for the U23 side earlier in the week, is back on the bench in place of Matz Sels and he will now be pushing Darlow for that first team place.
This is what Rafa has said about the game today:
“Derby are doing well, Steve McClaren knows our players, and it will be a tough game for us.”
“We’ve had some bad games, but we are strong enough to compete, to win and to go up.”
“Mbemba is back but will not be available, Colback is improving and Gayle is improving, but he won’t be ready yet.”
“Derby are a team that has to be in the top six – they are there now because they have enough quality and an experienced manager.”
There’s not a particularly large percentage of Newcastle fans who think we can win this game today.