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Rafa Hints At Possible Changes For Tonight’s Game Against Burnley


Newcastle have almost everybody in the squad available for tonight’s home game against in-form Burnley other than long term injured Rob Elliot and Ciaran Clark, who is also out injured.

We are playing three games in eight days so this is the game Rafa will likely have to bring in one or two players to the starting line-up.

Who they may be is uncertain, but Mo Diame, Jonjo Shelvey and Ki Sung-yueng are all available and itching for a start in central midfield.

Ki Sung-yueng – may get start tonight

Rafa has hinted at possible changes when he said this in the Shields Gazette today:

“If you play one game a week then maybe it’s OK and you can repeat and keep the same players,”

“If you play again in three days, you have to consider the effort of the other game and who can cope with the physicality and the intensity.”

“Can the same starters start the game? Yes, they could do it, but maybe physically they will lose something.”

“Would it keep the momentum and give them confidence? Yes, could be.”

“But at the same time you have to analyze which positions are more dangerous, where you have to make a substitution.”

Maybe Ki Sung-yueng could come into central midfield, but we still expect Sean Longstaff to start this game.

A win tonight will take us one point above Burnley in the league and make it four home wins in a row.

PosTeamGamesGDPoints
10West Ham38-352
11Watford38-750
12Crystal Palace38-249
13Newcastle38-645
14Bournemouth38-1445
15Burnley38-2240
16Southampton38-2039
17Brighton38-2536
18Cardiff38-3534
19Fulham38-3726
20Huddersfield38-5416

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Comments welcome.


16 comments so far

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Feb 26, 2019 at 8:55 AM

    Comment #1

    Rodgers going to Leicester!!!

    Leaving Celtic mid season as well!!

    Could be good for us in terms of keeping Rafa now

    3
  • DubaiMicky

    Feb 26, 2019 at 8:59 AM

    Comment #2

    Bigjim67
    Comment #76 (previous)

    Eh? EGB = Essex Geordie Bill

    Confused in Dubai dot com

    2
  • Ben Afri

    Feb 26, 2019 at 9:09 AM

    Comment #3

    Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Is this move official now?

    0
  • ilovetoon8788

    Feb 26, 2019 at 9:10 AM

    Comment #4

    I still think Perez is a bench player at best. I still believe Muto is the answer to our attacking trio.

    Muto Almiron and Rondon will be our most formidable attacking trio. Muto was so impressive and did more in 1 game than perez does in 10.

    2
  • martoon

    Feb 26, 2019 at 9:13 AM

    Comment #5

    Looking at Rafa’s subs on Saturday he was obviously saving the legs of Rondon, Richie & Miggy so I guess they’ll start – the 2 lads in centre midfield have been great and Rafa always plays Perez so difficult to see where the changes will be?

    0
  • Ben Afri

    Feb 26, 2019 at 9:13 AM

    Comment #6

    ilovetoon8788

    I can understand why you’d say that as I am a huge critic of Perez’s and would love to see Muto given the nod. However, I’m not an advocate of fixing what ain’t broke. At the moment, the balance in our current first 11 looks to be excellent and the front three as well as the midfield pairing seem to have found their groove and I’d be wear of tinkering with that right now

    0
  • Ben Afri

    Feb 26, 2019 at 9:14 AM

    Comment #7

    I don’t really think there will be any changes for tonight’s game. I suspect Rafa may have been trying throw his opposing manager off by hinting that he might change things up tonight, even if it does mean resting our better performing players.

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 26, 2019 at 9:15 AM

    Comment #8

    Jib,
    He could have compared his buying of players to SBR who didn’t always get it right or SFA or Arsene Wenger, but no, he compared him with one of the most disliked managers that has ever been at the club, go figure.

    10
  • posada

    Feb 26, 2019 at 9:15 AM

    Comment #9

    Think you will see a better Perez now. We have a sound front three.
    The Liverpool front three pose a joint problem to teams and as a consequence make space for each other.
    Many times Perez has been quite isolated.

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 26, 2019 at 9:16 AM

    Comment #10

    I hope Miggy starts, I’ve got Virgin go so will be able to get the full game tonight, really looking forward to seeing him in action.

    1
  • RobLeenio

    Feb 26, 2019 at 9:20 AM

    Comment #11

    Micky, I think BigJim was wondering aloud where EGB was, rather than anything else.

    BigJim, he’s removed himself from the blog due to his perception of the over-frequent sniping and arguing. I actually think this has improved vastly in recent weeks.

    I think the majority of us are hoping he’ll come back and soon.

    3
  • RobLeenio

    Feb 26, 2019 at 9:20 AM

    Comment #12

    G re the ‘stiffs’, thanks for clarifying, always wondered about that but in hindsight it seems perfectly logical.

    0
  • martoon

    Feb 26, 2019 at 9:23 AM

    Comment #13

    LCBP @1 – That is good news because Leicester was a team I feared Rafa could be tempted by. Assuming he wants to stop in the Premiership the only other job going is Chelsea and somehow I don’t think Rafa would want to go there again!

    2
  • posada

    Feb 26, 2019 at 9:23 AM

    Comment #14

    Not sure the Masons are the influence they were.
    Have we learned the lessons of Hillsborough. Yes in the football sense.
    In the wider world no.
    Grenfell demonstrated that.

    We are still a society that only puts things right after a disaster. Not before.
    The public enquiry that follows drives change in that specific area. Prior to that no one listens.

    4
  • RobLeenio

    Feb 26, 2019 at 9:24 AM

    Comment #15

    Is Rafa setting us up for Joselu to start? Rondon is probably carrying the biggest strain on his body of all our players, given he’s fighting on his own vs the opposition Centre Backs. He’s probably the biggest candidate for a rest, therefore. I would be quite interested to see how Joselu can play with a genuine Number 10, not sure I’m overly keen on the idea however.

    We may see Fernandez for Schaer also. Maybe Dummett for Ritchie?

    I think it more likely we’ll see the same starting 11 as against Hudds.

    0
  • Ben Afri

    Feb 26, 2019 at 9:29 AM

    Comment #16

    RobLeenio

    I agree with you saying that Rondon is currently the one with the biggest load to carry. Add to that, he knows he has to keep impressing to stay here since he is on loan so I really do feel for the guy. So far, he’s handled the pressure like a champ but I agree that he may be a candidate for a rest, although I’m sure that he’ll want to keep going while he’s operating on all cylinders.

    2

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