Defense Unchanged – Hayden, Gouffran, Perez And Mitrovic Start


Rafa Benitez has just announced his team for the game at St. James Park tonight against a very good Leeds United side who are pushing hard for a play-off place this season and managed by the talented Garry Monk.

And Rafa’s brought back Aleksandar Mitrovic up front and he edges out Daryl Murphy.

Isaac Hayden makes his first start since injuring his ankle  several weeks ago and will add some class to the central midfield alongside Jonjo Shelvey.



Elliot, Hanley, Colback, Yedlin, Atsu, Diame and Murphy make up a strong bench tonight.

It’s good to see Yedlin back again after recovering from his thigh injury and he could see some playing time tonight and jack Colback is also back fit again.

This is what Rafa has said about today’s opponents during his press conference yesterday:

“It’s one game at a time. I like competition between players, and the good news is that players are coming back from injuries.”

“We did well against Leeds in the first game, and we play at home tomorrow.”

“Hopefully we can play at the level we know we can.”

Three in five Newcastle fans think we will win this game tonight.

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We really need this win tonight against a good Leeds United side, whose players and manager have been saying how they will beat us tonight, just like the Owls player and manager did last Saturday – and they beat us.

Now is not the time for our players to wobble when we are so close to that automatic promotion spot.

Our players need to step up to the plate tonight and deliver for Newcastle United – every last one of them.

That’s their job tonight to get us right back on track to win promotion and hopefully the Championship too.

Howay The Lads!!



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337 comments so far

  • AncientC

    Apr 14, 2017 at 6:50 PM

    Comment #1

    Big game for Mbemba with Hanley coming back to fitness and the summer window on the horizon.

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  • firebug666

    Apr 14, 2017 at 6:50 PM

    Comment #2

    Not a bad team to put out there, now let’s see if their work rate is up to scratch.

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  • BlacknWhiteBarmy

    Apr 14, 2017 at 6:51 PM

    Comment #3

    Good to see hayden back. Goofy and perez better turn up

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  • catchy in norway

    Apr 14, 2017 at 6:55 PM

    Comment #4

    not happy that he has gone safe with goofy , would like to see Jonjo in the role perez is in

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  • dok - the horrid colonial

    Apr 14, 2017 at 6:56 PM

    Comment #5

    time to stick a fork in this league.. its done, for us…onwards and upwards lads!

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  • JP...from The Rock

    Apr 14, 2017 at 6:59 PM

    Comment #6

    I am expecting a draw but hoping for the much needed win. Bloody Huddersfield won in the dying minutes of their matxh to pit more pressure on us today. I hate how they keep nicking last minute goals.

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  • Nufc-83

    Apr 14, 2017 at 7:01 PM

    Comment #7

    If Yedlin is fit he should be one of the first on the team sheet and Atsu should be starting. Disappointed but hey the team is still good enough to win this comfortabley if they play well.

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  • BenArfa the magician

    Apr 14, 2017 at 7:02 PM

    Comment #8

    Strange to go with the same CB pairing, Wood top scorer a big guy surely Hanley should come in? Mbemba is weak in the air and Fletcher proved Lascelles is too???

    Thank fcuk Yedlins fit again though so much better than Anita. Shame Perez has to start but with him and Diame being beyond shit this year at least they’re both not starting.

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  • AncientC

    Apr 14, 2017 at 7:02 PM

    Comment #9

    Very difficult game, I am surprised the bookies have Leeds at 5/1. I don’t believe they are that bad.

    There are easier fixtures coming up, so even if this game is lost, it shouldn’t be cause for panic – in my estimation anyway.

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  • BlacknWhiteBarmy

    Apr 14, 2017 at 7:02 PM

    Comment #10

    At least we will have a presence in the box for the widemen to aim at. Perez still too lightweight – especially for this game which will be physical

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  • elpaso_geordie

    Apr 14, 2017 at 7:02 PM

    Comment #11

    Firebug 666… it’s not work rate . It’s bit of quality and fluidity in attacking we are missing currently

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  • jimmygscot

    Apr 14, 2017 at 7:02 PM

    Comment #12

    Mitro & Pereze need to turn up, Mitro needs to keep the heed!
    The Goof is in to support Dummett on the left side.
    Looks like safety first from Rafa.
    HWTL

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  • MAUTITOON

    Apr 14, 2017 at 7:03 PM

    Comment #13

    any links for this match please?

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  • Dennis Twice

    Apr 14, 2017 at 7:04 PM

    Comment #14

    Attack Toon attack, attack!

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  • kimbo

    Apr 14, 2017 at 7:05 PM

    Comment #15

    Rafa you have picked Anita so easy win for Leeds

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  • BlacknWhiteBarmy

    Apr 14, 2017 at 7:06 PM

    Comment #17

    Just hope mitro is not too fired up ?

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  • AncientC

    Apr 14, 2017 at 7:06 PM

    Comment #18

    Click on ‘Live Streams’ on the above link, for the drop-down box to show the streams.

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  • yorkymag

    Apr 14, 2017 at 7:06 PM

    Comment #19

    This team is going to get smashed
    Mbemba is a liability and mitro will get nothing from the giant Leeds centre backs
    We are heading for the play offs the gamble of a dry January is coming to haunt us

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  • AncientC

    Apr 14, 2017 at 7:09 PM

    Comment #20

    Perez needs to get himself in proximity to Mitrovic for knock-downs and link up play. They can be a real master/blaster routine, the ability is there, if only they would play to their potential, as they have the makings of a good partnership.

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  • geordiemark

    Apr 14, 2017 at 7:10 PM

    Comment #21

    here we go again 4-2-3-1 this has cost us points this season yet rafa never changes it, the points dropped at home has been a nightmare why play with a lone striker when your at home, id have played 4-4-2 with murphy playing as well, if we fail here then they can only blame themselves for this mess

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  • Nufc-83

    Apr 14, 2017 at 7:10 PM

    Comment #22

    Gouff is in to support dummet my god dummet doesn’t need any defensive support as that’s all he’s good for. Terrible left hand side offers nothing at all going forward so Leeds can easily keep players in central areas as don’t have to worry at all about that left side. Shocking

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  • firebug666

    Apr 14, 2017 at 7:10 PM

    Comment #23

    elpaso_geordie

    We need to get our work rate up and the rest will follow, too many games have come and gone where we just seemed to go through the motions.

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  • BenArfa the magician

    Apr 14, 2017 at 7:11 PM

    Comment #24

    Roofe was very good against us last time and they have Hernandez too lot of pace in their team.

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  • catchy in norway

    Apr 14, 2017 at 7:12 PM

    Comment #25

    bit unfair on Anita , he has had a good season imo. i like yedlin, but his first game back, i’d give him 30 mins , i don’t like that Leeds are a big team and i would have gave murphy and mitro a game and pumped balls into the box

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  • geordiemark

    Apr 14, 2017 at 7:12 PM

    Comment #26

    yorkymag

    don’t think its signing new players myself, I think its this stupid formation rafa plays and the players he picks that’s the problem our home form is terrible really if we had won our games at home we would have had the title wrapped up weeks ago

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  • Nufc-83

    Apr 14, 2017 at 7:14 PM

    Comment #27

    Perez has had a terrible season but he is capable of quality which he showed a number of times in the prem. At the end of the day if are players turn up we win simple as that.

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  • yorkymag

    Apr 14, 2017 at 7:18 PM

    Comment #28

    Geordimark
    Maybe but I am not so sure we have too many options
    Injuries have killed us
    Good Hayden is back but the lose of Clarke,yedlin,Hayden,shelvey,and Gayle for do many games since Christmas is what has cost us .
    The squad is not so deep and we look average at the moment

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  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Apr 14, 2017 at 7:19 PM

    Comment #29

    Mitro and Perez. Meh!

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  • JDdubai

    Apr 14, 2017 at 7:21 PM

    Comment #30

    Not overly confident

    Again we remove any that for us down the left side playing at home, therefore cramping our attacks to the right and hoping Perez turns up in the hole.

    Considering Perez hasnt done anything recently we therefore risk playing without an attack through the middle also so everything on Ritchie again.

    Wish he would go with something attacking on both sides instead of starting off defensive. Imagine Leeds looking at that, no concerns at all.

    anyway fingers crossed, can see another 90 minutes of little imagination coming up.

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  • geordiemark

    Apr 14, 2017 at 7:21 PM

    Comment #31

    yorkymag

    you have a good point there, then add in the FAs hatred of the toon with shelveys ban, I just think that at home no matter what you go 4-4-2 or 3-5-2 but never 4-2-3-1

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  • ShirebrookToon

    Apr 14, 2017 at 7:24 PM

    Comment #32

    Oh dear, this is gonna be a long night

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  • yorkymag

    Apr 14, 2017 at 7:27 PM

    Comment #33

    Which two up front? All are too similar
    At least Perez offers some movement and craft ,I don’t think Rafa gas any other option maybe atsu instead of gouff but that’s it really

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  • Rotonda heights

    Apr 14, 2017 at 7:27 PM

    Comment #34

    real wind up huddersfield get a dodgy pen in the 96 minute !!!!!! beyond cruel.

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  • jimiley

    Apr 14, 2017 at 7:32 PM

    Comment #35

    Such a weak back 4.
    Gouffran and Perez are also rubbish.
    Could be a tough night.

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  • BenArfa the magician

    Apr 14, 2017 at 7:37 PM

    Comment #36

    Not one fast player in our starting 11.

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  • Fostino

    Apr 14, 2017 at 7:39 PM

    Comment #37

    Last chance for mbemba …mitro….Anita in my opinion with players coming back. Show us what your made up. Lose this game and il happily see the back of all of them. Even perez approaching last chance

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  • jimiley

    Apr 14, 2017 at 7:39 PM

    Comment #38

    I think we have bullshitted our way to promotion. All the talk of us having a Premier league team from the outset of the campaign caused teams to be wary of us and let us play. In the last third of the season teams have begun to realize we are not that good and have started to have a go. Well wouldnt you when you look at our back four?. The wheels are coming off a bit but we have too big a lead to get caught.

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  • yorkymag

    Apr 14, 2017 at 7:43 PM

    Comment #39

    Jimiley
    We are I think good maybe not premier leAgue with our first eleven,
    But below that we are very average and we have not been able o pick our best eleven since December
    I don’t think teams have worked us out the squad is not deep enough

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  • Ibizatoon

    Apr 14, 2017 at 7:45 PM

    Comment #40

    HWTL & HWTF (Each and every one of you…except you, you know who you are)

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