Three players who should definitely start for Newcastle against Liverpool
Scorer of a scruffy and heavily fortunate equaliser in the reverse fixture on Tyneside, Joselu may be afforded a return to the starting XI against Liverpool after losing his place as Newcastle’s attacking spearhead to Dwight Gayle.
Gayle doesn’t deserve to be relegated to the bench after contributing two goals, an assist and plenty hard work in the last three games, but Benitez may be unwilling to risk the 27-year-old after he complained of tightness in his hamstring against Bournemouth and may prefer to rest him whilst restoring Joselu to the team.
It would be a decision that is bound to elicit groans from Magpies supporters who’ve observed the Spaniard struggle through much of the season, scoring just four goals in 25 appearances in all competitions and looking every bit worth the £5 million paid to Stoke for him in the summer.
Benitez is likely to be uncomfortable with the thought of Gayle, who has a documented history of hamstring issues, sprinting around Anfield, so it would be a wise move to play Joselu and utilise his prowess in the air against Virgil Van Dijk and one of Joel Matip or Dejan Lovren.
Liverpool’s backline is notoriously unstable, even with the addition of Van Dijk, and Joselu’s height and strength could be just the ticket to unnerve the centre-back’s selected by Jurgen Klopp and give Newcastle a chance of sneaking a goal or two.