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Newcastle goes into their 30th Championship clash of the season on Saturday against Wolverhampton, topping the league table, and they would hope to record a win against a side that handed them their 2nd home loss of the campaign back in September.
Playing the Wanderers at the Molineux Stadium will be a challenging task for Newcastle as the hosts continue their mission of securing safety with only a few points keeping them off the drop zone.
Newcastle will still be without the services of Dwight Gayle and Vurnon Anita, while Atsu’s return from the recently concluded AFCON would provide Benitez more options on the wing.
With 17 games to play, the Toons can’t afford any further damaging results, and their Spaniard manager should line up a strong XI similar to this.
The Chelsea-target has been excellent in goal for Newcastle all season and would hope to continue his impressive form which has seen him attract the west London giants on Saturday.
The Welsh fullback remains an ever-present name on Benitez’s starting XI team sheet and should be making his 28th league appearance on Saturday.
Having not registered a single assist this term, more attacking contributions would be expected of him.
Has been a regular at the heart of Newcastle defence and is one of the reasons they are on top of the league.
Another start, his 25th of the season awaits the Irish centre-half.
The side’s skipper made way for Hanley in the last game but this looks like a temporary change and he would likely return to the lineup for the clash against Wolves.
The American defender ensured Newcastle recorded a vital win against Derby last weekend with a timely goal-line clearance and these types of performances would ensure he keeps his shirt with Anita still out.
The Ghanaian returns from a disappointing Africa Cup of Nations campaign which saw the Black Stars finish in 4th place.
With Gouffran struggling for form at the moment, he could be getting the nod ahead of the French winger for a starting role on the left of the midfield.
Championship’s best midfielder continues to put in work as he eyes a return to top-flight football, and would most likely give an excellent display as Newcastle plan to revenge against Wolverhampton.
Was withdrawn in the game last time out due to a strain on his ankle but is now fit to return to the lineup and should start the game on Saturday, or Benitez might have to settle with Colback.
Has been on an impressive goalscoring form of recent with his strike against Derby proving very vital last weekend.
Benitez would hope the Scottish winger can help inspire the Magpies to another victory on Saturday.
Looks to have been restored to the lineup following his return from AFCON and he could start once again ahead of Perez following an impressive outing in the last game.
With Mitrovic squandering clear-cut chances against Derby and Gayle yet to attain full fitness, Murphy could get the chance to start, having impressed in his last 2 starts with goals.