Rafael Benitez hints he'll make changes for Newcastle United's match against Manchester City

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Newcastle United are set to take on Manchester City at St. James' Park later this evening.

Rafael Benitez has told the Sunderland Echo that he intends to make changes to Newcastle United’s line-up for their match against Manchester City later this evening.

Newcastle won their last match against Swansea City 3-0, but Benitez is eager not to tire his players out.

As a result, he has hinted that he will continue to tinker with his line-up as he looks to guide his side to another crucial three points this evening.

“When you play two games a week, normally you have to change players,” said Benitez.

“If you say I will stick with the same team for three months, then after you know they will be really tired.

“When you play one game a week, you can repeat the team if things are going well. Maybe you will change one or two, but not too many.

“What we have is a team that were not performing and needed to play better and needed to show more character. We knew.

“Then we said we will play these players, but I didn’t realise how many changes I was making. People are telling me after. Five changes? I didn’t know.

“I was just picking these players, these players and these players. Now I will do the same.”

Benitez reportedly only tells his Newcastle players the line-up 90 minutes before kick-off, as he likes to keep them in the dark over who will be starting.

Newcastle’s match against City this evening could be vital for their survival chances, so Benitez will need to make sure he gets his line-up correct.

The Magpies’ win over Swansea has moved them to within three points of Norwich City, and a victory later would take them out of the bottom three.

That would be a major boost for the Tynesiders, but toppling City could be a tough test.

Manuel Pellegrini’s side go into the game on the back of a 3-0 win over Chelsea, and they will be looking to claim the three points to consolidate their position in the top four.

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