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Christian Atsu To Deputize For Matt Ritchie – Maybe Not

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
Hayden Shelvey
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?

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Comments welcome.

8 comments so far

  • Jail for Ashley

    Nov 4, 2016 at 7:15 PM

    Comment #1

    I’m still going with the team I have in mind three hours before kick off tomortow and Atsu is in my first eleven.

  • welshgeordie9

    Nov 4, 2016 at 7:21 PM

    Comment #2

    Jail why aren’t you picking my lineup, that’s quite a good attacking lineup, a little different and confusing, lets face it, it probably confused you.

    Ha ha ha


    Nov 4, 2016 at 7:26 PM

    Comment #3

    Howay Rafa Perez and Anita are both crap on the wing

    Yedlin maybe do a job there but Atsu is the only choice surely

  • Shadow_Shearer

    Nov 4, 2016 at 7:28 PM

    Comment #4

    Rafa bingo

    Yadlin lascelle clark dummy
    Shelvey hayden
    Astu perez gouffy

  • Shadow_Shearer

    Nov 4, 2016 at 7:31 PM

    Comment #5

    After posting my rafa bingo, I’ve just had a thought. Maybe rafa is making out gayle fit for tomorrow to confuse Cardiff, & is really gonna play mitrovic


    Nov 4, 2016 at 7:33 PM

    Comment #6

    Interesting to hear the Rafa is considering playing Gayle and Mitro at some point not anytime soon though

    Might just be away of connecting with fans though

  • Bobbybee

    Nov 4, 2016 at 7:36 PM

    Comment #7

    I’m one of those obsessive types who watches every game possible on TV. Last couple of seasons I watched Judge play a number of times and he really is too good for Brentford – no disrespect to them – which is why I wasn’t surprised Rafa was interested in him. He can pick a pass similar to Shelvey and shouldn’t be judged – no pun intended – by who he plays for. How he comes back from his long layoff remains to be seen, but he looked to have bags of natural ability.

  • Tayls

    Nov 4, 2016 at 7:38 PM

    Comment #8

    Anita Lascelles Clark Dummet
    Colback Shelvey
    Atsu Diame Gouf

    Took a punt at Mitro but wouldnt be surprised to see Gayle back in.


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