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Newcastle United are set to welcome 2nd-placed Manchester United to St. James’ Park on Sunday. The Magpies are not in the best of positions right now and this will be quite a test for them. Despite starting the season on a strong note, Newcastle now find themselves in 16th place, merely 2 points ahead of the drop zone. This is a far-from-ideal situation for Rafa Benitez but he will be looking to cause an upset against the mighty Red Devils – even more so since Newcastle will have the advantage of playing at home.
As per early team news, Islam Slimani might be in line to make his debut and besides that, Benitez has no fresh injury concerns ahead of Sunday.
To be up against the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez might be a daunting task but Darlow will have to be at his absolute best to ensure he puts up a strong fight in goal.
Yedlin displayed what he is capable of in their game against Crystal Palace and it will be interesting to see how he fares against United’s attack force.
Lascelles has been quite a composed figure at the back for the Magpies and he can be quite useful in making some much-needed clearances on Sunday.
Clarke works well with Lascelles and the duo needs to put up a strong show and hold up the fort at the back when the Red Devils pay a visit.
Dummett is known to make some important challenges and tackles to keep opponent attackers at bay and his services will be needed against United.
Ritchie’s creativity and pace will be crucial in unlocking the Red Devils’ defence and there is a lot he can do to put the Magpies in the driving seat.
Shelvey is quite a combination of experience and skills and although he is known to be a bit eccentric, his presence can do a lot for Newcastle in the middle of the park, thus making it likely for Benitez to deploy him.
Diame scored against Crystal Palace and he put in a solid display to earn some newfound respect from a lot of fans and Benitez will expect him to work his magic once more against United.
Kenedy has been quite an influential player for Newcastle already and the Magpies will be hoping that he replicates his good form to keep Alexis Sanchez at bay.
Perez’s contributions might often seem insignificant but he can provide a lot of support for his teammates and that will be important against a club like United.
Gayle has gone a lot of games without scoring a goal and given the gravity of the situation, Benitez might opt to start Islam Slimani against the Red Devils.