Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez can give his team a big boost by handing club record signing Miguel Almiron his debut against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday night.
The Paraguay international has the pace and creativity that this Magpies team has been missing, and Benitez would be wise to bring him in for the ailing Christian Atsu on the left hand side of midfield.
Almiron’s electric speed could see him hand Wolves problems as he could prove to be too much to handle for them.
Ayoze Perez and Isaac Hayden should also miss out, with Antonio Barreca and Ki Sung-yueng coming in for them. The Chronicle reported on Friday that Ki is among the sidelined players back in contention on Monday, and the 30-year-old’s pre Asian Cup form makes him a must-start here.
Benitez will know that his side face an extremely stiff test at Molineux, however, three changes should be enough for the Magpies to upset the high-flying hosts.
Martin Dubravka will be under pressure to produce an error-free performance following his howler against Tottenham Hotspur last week, but he deserves to keep his place on Monday. DeAndre Yedlin, meanwhile, is the undisputed starter at right wing back and must remain in place here.
Barreca should be handed his full debut after his cameo off the bench against Spurs, replacing Ritchie at left wing back, with the Scotland international moving further forward. Fabian Schar, Jamaal Lascelles and Florian Lejeune are the main men at centre back at the moment and should all start against Wolves.
As mentioned, Ritchie needs to be played in his more natural position of right winger after weeks of filling in at the back. That means Perez drops out, while Almiron should come in for Atsu on the opposite side of midfield.
Sean Longstaff has shown enough over the past month or so to keep his place in the starting line up, while Ki deserves to come in for him in central midfield, replacing Hayden.
At the sharp end of the pitch, Salomon Rondon is the only real choice to lead the attack. The Venezuelan can hope for more reliable service now that Almiron is in town.