Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez must look to make major changes to his side if he wants to secure anything from their clash with West Brom on Tuesday.
The Magpies are on a dreadful run of four successive defeats, with the 3-0 loss to Watford at St James’ Park meaning they have seen themselves concede nine goals and score just once in recent weeks.
It was a sub-par performance from Benitez’s men against the Hornets, and they have been given the immediate chance to bounce back to winning ways against a currently managerless West Brom side.
The Baggies did impress against Tottenham on Saturday, holding Mauricio Pochettino’s men to a 1-1 draw at Wembley, and so Benitez has to ensure he picks the best possible starting XI to secure a result at the Hawthorns.
As such, Dwight Gayle, Joselu, Mo Diame and DeAndre Yedlin should all be axed after their disappointing displays at St James’ Park, with Aleksandar Mitrovic, Mikel Merino, Isaac Hayden and Chancel Mbemba all replacing them in a 4-3-3 formation.
Newcastle were appalling in attack against Watford, and blame has to fall at the feet of Gayle and Joselu, who had no impact at all.
Fans’ favourite Mitrovic is in Benitez’s bad books but the Spanish boss should swallow his pride and give the Serbian a chance to lead the line, offering a focal point for the likes of Matt Ritchie and Jacob Murphy to aim for.
Midfield maestro Merino, another favourite of the Toon Army, should also return to the starting XI, bringing a third body to the midfield in order to control the centre of the park alongside Jonjo Shelvey and Hayden, who will be eligible to return after his one match suspension.
The defence was the biggest problem area for Benitez on Saturday, and Mbemba should step in at left back to allow Javi Manquillo to replace DeAndre Yedlin, who had a shocker against Watford, at right back, the Spaniard’s natural position.
In other Newcastle United news, Paul Merson has slammed the club in his prediction against West Brom.