Newcastle's potential XI to play Bristol City: Will Benitez stick or twist?

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez speaks to players

After Newcastle picked up their first win of the season by beating Reading, will Rafael Benitez choose to shuffle the pack against Bristol City?

After victory against Reading gave Newcastle their first win of the season, will coach Rafael Benitez look to make changes to his side or will he stick with the team that secured all three points last time out? 

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez during the press conferenceNewcastle United manager Rafael Benitez during the press conference

Matz Sels

Newcastle’s goalkeeper is still growing into English football after only three league appearances so far. He is a very fine shot-stopper, but from crosses in particular he has struggled. With the imminent return of Tim Krul, these next few appearances could prove very important for the goalkeeper.

Vurnon Anita , Chancel Mbemba, Grant Hanley and Paul Dummett

Newcastle United's Paul Dummett and Huddersfield Town's Tommy Smith in action

                                  Newcastle United's Paul Dummett and Huddersfield Town's Tommy Smith in action

Newcastle’s defence looked very good against Reading as they claimed their first victory of the campaign. While Dummett didn’t have his best appearance at left-back, it is very likely he will start again after being handed the armband.

Anita on the other hand, further emphasised his versatility. Playing at right-back, he was very solid and dealt with everything put before him. The only area he lets himself down in is offensively, where he does not have the same flair as the likes of Daryl Janmaat.

In the centre, Mbemba had a very solid game and was one of Newcastle’s stand-out players with his strength and intelligence leading the Magpies to a much-needed victory. Clarke on the other hand had a more difficult time. On his debut, he gave away the penalty and looked shaky on the ball. Therefore, summer signing Grant Hanley is likely to be brought back in to bolster the side.

Jonjo Shelvey and Issac Hayden

Newcastle's Jonjo Shelvey shoots

                                                                       Newcastle's Jonjo Shelvey shoots

The two had a superb game in front of the back-four. Shelvey provided the intelligence and range of passing on the ball, while Hayden added an energy and showed that he is not afraid of making a robust challenge.

The two look like a very promising partnership in midfield and can provide the base for Newcastle’s title challenge this season. Jack Colback is able to provide strong cover for the two in a more defensive sense, which therefore makes Shelvey’s ability to get forward and pick a pass very important as both Colback and Hayden do a very similar defensive job.

Matt Ritchie, Ayoze Perez and Yoan Gouffran

Newcastle's Matt Ritchie scores their second goal from the penalty spot

                                       Newcastle's Matt Ritchie scores their second goal from the penalty spot

Ritchie had a superb game out wide and so much of what Newcastle did well came through him. A certain starter for the next game.

Gouffran was a bit of a surprise inclusion but he played well on the wing. A player with pace and trickery, he put in a lot of hard work in the game and is likely to start out wide again.

The only man of the three that should have his place under scrutiny is Perez. The forward looked off the pace in the game and struggled to really impose himself as he was constantly looking for, and refused, a host of free-kicks. While he did struggle, he does have the potential to improve, and Newcastle are not blessed with a host of attacking midfielders.

Dwight Gayle

Newcastle's Dwight Gayle scores their fourth goal

                                                        Newcastle's Dwight Gayle scores their fourth goal

His best performance in a Newcastle shirt came against Reading. The forward was in fantastic form and curled a superb free-kick in before netting his second. Many thought he would be isolated playing up front on his own, but his pace and intelligence meant he was very prominent in the game. With Aleksandar Mitrovic on the brink of a return, Gayle will need to keep up this sort of form if he is to keep his starting place.

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