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It was a case of ‘close but no cigar’ for Rafa’s men on the opening day against Tottenham but there were plenty of positives indeed.
A reshuffle will be needed here of course, with Jonjo Shelvey suspended for his ridiculous behaviour, and defenders Paul Dummett and Florian Lejeuene out for weeks after getting injured in the match. Ciaran Clark may carry on at left-back, with Isaac Hayden the last remaining potential option at centre-back if more injuries arrive.
Rafa, no doubt, will stick to his 4-4-1-1 formation though, with new man Joselu ready to come off the bench at some point:
Negotiations continue in the background over the possibility of bringing in another new ‘keeper, but for now, Elliott is number one ahead of Darlow.
As long as Dummett is out, there would be a possibility of this chap reverting to left-back when Yedlin is fit, for now though, he will carry on here.
Although another injury could be crippling but for now, Newcastle haven’t lost too much by playing these two, with not much separating the centre-backs at the club on ability.
Comes in because of injuries but was skipper last season and is fully capable of stopping Huddersfield.
More than capable of playing at left-back anyway, especially in a system which does not rely on attacking prowess from the full-backs.
Hopefully there will be a chance this time for Jacob Murphy to come off the bench and use his pace against a tired defence. But Ritchie is likely to start and had a good game here in the Championship last season.
Will carry on as a holding midfield player but could yet be utilised as a centre-back if required.
Has impressed the fans mightily in short bursts so far, including against Spurs, and will now get his chance to start in the midfield, in the place of Shelvey. May well announce himself to the Premier League here.
Getting better all the time but, just like Ritchie, he may well make way for the pace of Aarons late in the game.
As predicted, Ayoze is better in the top league than in the Championship and as things stand, he is the man for the number ten position.
We may yet get a glimpse of Joselu at some point this weekend but Gayle is definitely the man for the centre-forward position and would love a repeat of the easy goal he snagged here last season to seal a 3-1 win.