Newcastle expected 4-2-3-1 v Cardiff: 23-year-old returns as Rafa rotates
By Russell Edge
DeAndre Yedlin is expected to return to the starting XI for Newcastle as they head to Cardiff aiming to put the pressure on league leaders Brighton.
The Magpies know that victory over the Bluebirds will see them move to within a point of the table topping Seagulls, as the title race reaches the penultimate weekend of the league season.
23-year-old defender Yedlin could be one of two changes made to the starting XI, following the 4-1 victory at home to Preston North End which secured automatic promotion back to the Premier League for Rafael Benitez’s side.
Jack Colback is set to join American international Yedlin in starting for the Magpies, and the pair are expected to replace Dutch international Vurnon Anita and midfielder Isaac Hayden.
Anita had a disappointing evening on Monday as he found himself caught out of position time and again against Preston and was at fault for allowing the cross which led to the Lancashire side’s goal.
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Hayden meanwhile is likely to be rested for the Tyneside club’s second fixture in five days, after having recently returned from injury.
Yedlin should be joined by Jamaal Lascelles, Ciaran Clark and Paul Dummett at the back, as they look to retain their position as the second best defence in the league with just 40 goals conceded.
Rob Elliot should retain his place in goal having been a surprise replacement for Karl Darlow in the win over Preston.
Colback is set to line up alongside Jonjo Shelvey in the centre of the park, with Ayoze Perez expected to line up ahead of them in an attacking role, having scored twice in the 4-1 victory.
Fellow goal scorers Matt Ritchie and Christian Atsu should retain their places on the flanks, while up front Aleksandar Mitrovic is set to lead the line, with Rafa Benitez probably choosing not to risk top scorer Dwight Gayle as he recovers from a hamstring injury.
The Magpies have to pick up a win at the Cardiff City Stadium if they are to have any chance of overtaking Brighton at the top of the table.
In other Newcastle news, staff at the club circulated a hilarious text among the raid from HMRC.