By Emma Sanders
Mohamed Diame should be axed and Dwight Gayle move further back to make way for Aleksander Mitrovic in Newcastle’s best possible XI against Brentford.
After failing to score in his first eight appearances, Diame’s time may be up and he should be replaced by Mitrovic who performed well for Serbia during the international break.
Mitrovic netted twice against Austria and it’s about time he’s given a start by Rafa Benitez but his best position is known to be as a centre-forward.
Gayle has been excellent so far and produced a stunning display against Norwich City. He’s scored seven goals already this season but he’s capable of delivering similar results in a number 10 role.
Christian Atsu made the most of his start against Rotherham United, scoring the winner before being replaced by Matt Ritchie who has started more games this season.
However, Atsu has a little more creativity to offer and whilst Ritchie’s experience is likely to give him the edge in Rafa Benitez’ selection, it’s Atsu who should be featuring.
Karl Darlow should start ahead of Matz Sels in goal, as Ciaran Clark and Jamaal Lascelles deserve to keep their places at centre-back this season.
Paul Dummett is a more reliable option at left-back and though Achraf Lazaar provides more attacking threat, he’s not as defensively sound.
Former Fulham winger, Vernon Anita has been deployed at right-back this season too everyone’s surprise and he’s seemed to have taken on the role well so deserves a place in the best starting XI.
Although Jack Colback is more experienced, Isaac Hayden has impressed hugely this season and the youngster was handed his England under-21s debut on Tuesday.
He should start in midfield alongside Jonjo Shelvey who’s been one of Newcastle’s best players so far this season.
Yoan Gouffran would start on the left side of an attacking trio with Atsu on the right and Mitrovic in the centre.
In other Newcastle news, Alan Shearer delivers a scathing verdict of a former Magpies player.