COMMENT By Harvey Byrne
Newcastle should adopt a 4-2-3-1 formation for their EFL Cup tie against Hull on Tuesday evening at the KCOM Stadium.
The north east club have been playing a 4-4-1-1 system for the start of the campaign, which has brought a lot of success.
However, the Tigers can cause problems out wide with their full-backs and wingers combining and it would be more beneficial for the Toon wide-men to push them up the pitch.
Hull possess tricky wingers Sam Clucas and Robert Snodgrass, who are very productive on the flanks, while Josh Tymon and Ahmed Elmohamady love to play the wing-back roles.
This means the Toon should bring Yoan Gouffran back into their side to face Hull on the left side in one of eight changes.
Karl Darlow, DeAndre Yedlin, Chancel Mbemba, Ciaran Clark, Jesus Gamez, Ayoze Perez and Alkesandar Mitrovic should also move out of the line-up from Saturday’s 1-0 defeat against Blackburn.
This should see Matz Sels, Vurnon Anita, Grant Hanley, Jamaal Lascelles, Paul Dumment, Mohamed Diame and Dwight Gayle making their return to the starting eleven.
With a semi-final place up for grabs for the winners Newcastle should look to play a strong team against the Premier League outfit.
Sels will keen to put in a good performance against the Tigers in goal after losing his starting place to Darlow earlier in the campaign.
Ahead of him should see Anita, Lascelles, Hanley and Dummett, who will all be keen to maintain Newcastle’s record of not conceding in the EFL Cup this season.
The midfield duo of Jonjo Shelvey and Isaac Hayden should retain their positions in the centre of the park.
Both players are considered individuals who are good enough to play in England’s top flight and will prove vital against Mike Phelan’s outfit.
Meanwhile, ahead of them must see Matt Ritchie keep his place alongside Diame and Gouffran.
The trio will be looking to pose some questions of a Tigers defence which has the worst defensive record in England’s top flight, conceding 28 goals from 13 fixtures.
Striker Gayle will also look to cause big problems for the Hull back four and the striker has been in scintillating form after joining from Crystal Palace in the summer with 13 goals in 15 appearances.
In other Newcastle team news, Benitez has delivered a critical verdict on Hull ahead of the EFL Cup clash.