Predicted Newcastle side to play Stoke: Murphy should start

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez gestures from the sideline during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Brighton and Hove Albion at St. James Park on December 30, 2017 in...

Here is how we predict Newcastle United will line up against Stoke City on Monday.

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez gestures from the sideline during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Brighton and Hove Albion at St. James Park on December 30, 2017 in...

Newcastle United travel to the Britannia Stadium on New Year's Day to take on Stoke City in a must-win clash for both sides.

The Magpies are just a point outside the relegation zone with the Potters one point and one place ahead of them in the Premier League table.

Dwight Gayle of Newcastle United is challenged by Lewis Dunk of Brighton during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Brighton and Hove Albion at St. James Park on December...

With Crystal Palace, West Ham United and Swansea City all showing signs of resurgence under new managers, neither Stoke boss Mark Hughes or Newcastle gaffer Rafa Benitez will want to slip any closer to the bottom three.

In early team news, Newcastle are without Rob Elliot, Florian Lejeune and Aleksandar Mitrovic, but they have an otherwise clean bill of health and will know they cannot afford to drop points against their fellow strugglers.

Stoke cannot call on Ryan Shawcross, Bruno Martins Indi or Glen Johnson, and it is up to Hughes to ensure his team are fired up for this clash.

The pressure is on the former Wales international and he will want to successfully navigate this tough time in his tenure.

The same can be said for Benitez, and this is how we predict Newcastle will line up against Stoke for their first match of 2018:

Predicted Newcastle side to play Stoke

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