Newcastle United return to Premier League action on Sunday when they welcome newly promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers to St James’ Park.
Rafael Benitez’s side recovered from last weekend’s disastrous defeat to West Ham United with a creditable 1-1 draw away at Everton on Wednesday.
The Spaniard made a few changes for that mid-week fixture, and he must now decide whether to do the same for Sunday’s clash.
Two alterations are likely incoming for the Magpies, with captain Jamaal Lascelles and winger Christian Atsu missing out, to be replaced by frontman Ayoze Perez and midfielder Matt Ritchie.
Martin Dubravka has been one of Newcastle’s players of the season and is almost certain to continue between the sticks, while right back DeAndre Yedlin is also firmly entrenched and will surely keep his place at the back.
Centre halves Fabian Schar and Federico Fernandez will likely start once again despite Lascelles joining them in a back five at Everton. The 25-year-old Magpies skipper is a fine player, but there is no arguing with the solidity of the Schar-Fernandez partnership and it’s hard to see Benitez breaking them up just yet. Javier Manquillo will likely continue to deputise for Paul Dummett at left back.
Newcastle will probably revert to the 4-4-2 that they have utilised for the majority of this campaign and, as mentioned, Ritchie will be expected to come in for Atsu on the right hand side of midfield.
With the Chronicle reporting on Friday that Kenedy is a doubt for the game, Jacob Murphy will likely continue on the left wing. The former Norwich City man has been a bit of a fringe player this term, but will probably keep his place here. Mohamed Diame and Ki Sung-yueng will be expected to maintain their productive partnership in the middle of the park.
Up top, Ayoze Perez is a go-to man for Benitez and will surely return to the fray against Wolves, while Salomon Rondon will almost certainly keep his place at centre forward.