Rafa Benitez has got some thinking to do, hasn’t he? Having only suffered one defeat in their last six games in the Premier League prior to the loss to West Ham United last weekend, the Magpies did eventually slip up at the London Stadium which came as quite a surprise given the rich vein of form they had been in. To ensure that scenario won’t be repeated today, everyone will have to be on top of their game.
Newcastle United host Everton later in what promises to be an interesting encounter considering the performances of both sides of late. As aforementioned, Newcastle have been in a rather impressive spell of form which has moved them six points adrift of the relegation zone.
Everton, on the other hand, had lost their previous three League games before a win in Cardiff and a draw at home to their Merseyside rivals. Even though they haven’t been at the top of their game, they still have players that could cause Newcastle some problems.
In an attempt to keep the Toffees quiet and continue to mastermind wins with big performances against big sides, Benitez should start one player and drop another from his side that has started the last two games…
Start DeAndre Yedlin
Yedlin has been a constant in this Newcastle side up until two weeks ago where Javier Manquillo was used at right-wing-back instead, presumably to give the United States international some rest having played so frequently.
Manquillo performed rather impressively against Burnley and was, therefore, chosen to start against West Ham too. The 24-year-old was often caught out defensively in a system where he needs to play his part in keeping the backline compact, whilst helping out the attack when he can so Yedlin should once again be turned too.
Bench Javier Manquillo
Despite surprising a lot of Newcastle fans with his performance against Burnley, he wasn’t as impressive against West Ham. In today’s game against Everton, who similarly to the Hammers have pacey, skilful wingers, defensive solidity should be prioritised. Yedlin offers this solidity more so, so it makes sense for Benitez to return to his use of the 25-year-old at right-wing-back.