Matt Ritchie, Dwight Gayle, And Jonjo Shelvey Start At Crystal Palace – Dubravka On Bench


Rafa Benitez has named his side for another crucial game in our attempt (for the fourth season of the last five in the Premier League) to avoid relegation under owner Mike Ashley.

If we go down, it will be the third time in the last nine years, which for a club of Newcastle’s stature is pathetic.

Rafa Benitez and Roy Hodgson

Matt Ritchie, Dwight Gayle, And Jonjo Shelvey come into the side, and new goalkeeper Martin Dubravka is on the bench in place of the unfortunate Rob Elliot.

The defense is unchanged and if we get a penalty today let’s hope Matt can smash it home.

Mikel Merino is dropped as expected – he’s still not 100% fit – and Jonjo Shelvey comes into the side to partner the in-form Mo Diame in central midfield – so it looks a strong side.

We need a solid performance from Jonjo today.

No sign of Joselu today, with Perez and Gayle the two up front striker and Kenedy and Ritchie are on the wings.

This is what Rafa has said about the positioning in the bottom half of the table:

“I realize there are five points between tenth and the drop zone so it is very close, very narrow, and that is sometimes good because you have a lot of teams there.”

“If you have three detached at the bottom it will be easier because you have a bigger distance, but that is not the case.”

“Even if you have a bad result, you carry on, because the next one could be good and then you could be two or three positions higher.”

More than half Newcastle fans think we will win this game this afternoon.

A defeat would be really tough to take.

How Will Newcastle Fare At Crystal Palace?

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Howay The Lads!!

Comments welcome.



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651 comments so far

  • AncientC

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:17 PM

    Comment #1

    Crystal Palace: Hennessey, Fosu-Mensah, Tomkins, Kelly, Van Aanholt, Townsend, Milivojevic, Cabayer, McArthur, Zaha, Benteke.
    Subs: Henry, Ward, Riedewald, Sakho, Souare, Lee, Sorloth.

    0
  • ronaldo aarons

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:19 PM

    Comment #2

    Townsend was supposed to be out!

    no joselu on bench or slimani.

    0
  • ronaldo aarons

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:20 PM

    Comment #3

    What does Murphy have to do to get a start lol, persevered during time of no confidence and out of form. Start playing well and looking confident and can’t get in the team!

    2
  • Lindisfarne

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:20 PM

    Comment #4

    TOON TOON

    1
  • ronaldo aarons

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:21 PM

    Comment #5

    I can kind of understand Ritchie starting though, not exactly a big pitch at palace. Pace might not be most useful over industry.

    1
  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:21 PM

    Comment #6

    No Joselu at all – big plus!

    Murphy not started in 2 games since his best performance in B&W and a confidence boosting goal – big negative!

    3
  • ronaldo aarons

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:21 PM

    Comment #7

    Where’s mitrovic???? 😉

    5
  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #8

    Aaah, so Big Slim must have a genuine injury, oh well.

    1
  • Malta Mag

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #9

    Pleased Diame keeps his place and it seems Rafa has gone for extra cover down the flanks to combat Townsend and Zaha. Let’s see if Gayle can bury his old team? I think we’ll get something today

    1
  • AncientC

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:26 PM

    Comment #10

    Ritchie needed some rotation for his own good, he started the season in blistering form, but he looked shot for a while. I hope he has exercised his demons. Ritchie is the difference when he is in form.

    4
  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:26 PM

    Comment #11

    As much as Joselu annoyed us the last game should have still had him on the bench as an option as he rescued a point against Swansea.

    Hopefully some bench time will make Gayle and Richie get the finger out as these 2 could have their places under threat the most out of the frontline

    1
  • c-dog

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:26 PM

    Comment #12

    No Josiére – jokeshop

    0
  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:27 PM

    Comment #13

    Actually on Sky (Murdochs money tree 🙁 ) so can watch game and vote in the MOM poll, probably Shelvey or Kenedy but it would be amusing if it’s Gayle with a hat trick. 🙂

    0
  • Singinginthecorner

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:27 PM

    Comment #14

    Breaking news

    Fer and bony ruled out for the swans for the rest of the season boo hoo

    0
  • lochinvar

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:28 PM

    Comment #15

    Murphy must be seen as an impact sub and can be justified with his speed and guile. As opposition defences tire and open up that gives him more space to operate in and take on defenders so boosting his confidence . Fresh legs and all that. Just need those that start to have us well ahead by then.

    1
  • ronaldo aarons

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:29 PM

    Comment #16

    Rolando aarons played 70 mins today. Didnt see match but appears he didn’t really make an impact. To be fair, first game at new club and new league against Roma whereas Hellas verona are slightly above whipping boy level. He’ll have a few difficult games but it will do him good.

    2
  • Nufc-83

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:29 PM

    Comment #17

    Fer is a big loss to them

    1
  • dannitoon

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:29 PM

    Comment #18

    Murphy should be starting

    0
  • ronaldo aarons

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:30 PM

    Comment #19

    C dog
    Where you been hiding? What do you think of kenedys first match with us? Is he still a ‘nobody’?

    3
  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:30 PM

    Comment #20

    Is Joselu suffering from concussion after punching himself in the head a few times the other night.

    1
  • MAUTITOON

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:30 PM

    Comment #21

    do we still refer to mo diame as HT??????
    Kenedy is bringing us home this win.He oozes quality.
    still a tight match though.Hope we win.

    0
  • MAUTITOON

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:31 PM

    Comment #22

    where is the slim and canny we took on ;loan from leicester?

    1
  • ronaldo aarons

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #23

    C dog
    Quick to judge him on the first Chelsea v Norwich match with you saying it’s the first time youve seen him. Didn’t say much about second match where he was mom and disappeared after his first game with us.

    3
  • ronaldo aarons

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #24

    Fosu mensah has been good for them at right back.

    0
  • toonbrother

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #25

    Idiotic line up leaving both atsu and Murphy on the bench

    0
  • ronaldo aarons

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:34 PM

    Comment #26

    Lejuene is back on the bench. Hope he doesn’t break lascelles Clark partnership.

    1
  • DubaiMicky

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:34 PM

    Comment #27
  • DubaiMicky

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:35 PM

    Comment #28
  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:37 PM

    Comment #29

    Idiotic post suggesting that a line up you do not agree with is idiotic.

    8
  • MAUTITOON

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:38 PM

    Comment #30

    when gayle will have to come off,who will replace him?

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:38 PM

    Comment #31

    I don’t think Carragher likes Rafa.

    0
  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:39 PM

    Comment #32

    Hopefully we’re treat to another all-action display from Diame. He’s really coming to the fore when the chips are down, seems getting his cage rattled really spurred him on.

    1
  • JP...from The Rock

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:40 PM

    Comment #33

    Disappointed that Slimani ain’t fit for this crucial game. He will be the difference between survival or another sad relegation.

    0
  • Mister Tuff

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:41 PM

    Comment #34

    God know how this is going to end up. Diame has got to continue his good form to stand any chance of getting something. By sods law we must be due a bit of luck – especially with out powder puff attack.

    EGB – good that you have decided to forget about kick off time – appreciated.

    1
  • Ron Knee

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:41 PM

    Comment #35

    Undoubtedly one of the reasons why Rafa preferred Jorgenson is that he’s fit!

    1
  • Tsunki

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:41 PM

    Comment #36

    Atsu was terrible last time out. Idiotic would be to start him imo

    2
  • Mister Tuff

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:42 PM

    Comment #37

    out = our

    0
  • Geremi's Prosthetic Leg Fund

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:43 PM

    Comment #38

    Gayle’s last chance perhaps?

    2
  • Mister Tuff

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:44 PM

    Comment #39

    Yedlin does not want to get caught upfield – losing possession – and then all panic breaks out.

    0
  • toonbrother

    Feb 4, 2018 at 1:44 PM

    Comment #40

    it’s really dumb dropping players on the basis of one bad performance

    It’s Unbelievably dumb starting Ritchie who has not gone past a single defender all season
    and is incapable of any creating any chances

    Very dumb and idiotic line up sorry to say

    0
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