Newcastle expected 4-2-3-1 v Norwich: Benitez to make four changes
By Amir Mir
Aleksandar Mitrović could return for Newcastle’s clash against Norwich on Wednesday night at St James’ Park.
The 22-year-old striker was a substitute during his side’s 1-1 draw at Aston Villa on Saturday evening.
Rafa Benitez could make four changes for the clash against the Canneries, with Mitrovic, Ayoze Perez, Christian Atsu and Chancel Mbemba all starting.
That means the Spaniard is likely to rest Dwight Gayle, Isaac Hayden, Yoan Gouffran and DeAndre Yedlin, who went off injured in the second-half against Villa.
Mbemba could start at right-back, while Benitez is expected to stick with the centre-back pairing of Ciaran Clark and Jamaal Lascelles following their commanding display at Villa Park.
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Goalkeeper Mat Sels is likely to keep his place between the sticks, despite being heavily criticised by Toon Army supporters for his role in the late Villa equaliser at the weekend.
Benitez could decide to field a different attack at home on Wednesday night, with Mitrovic expected to use his strength up front and Perez to slot in behind.
Mo Diame could drop back to a much deeper midfield role, alongside Shelvey, despite missing a crucial chance at the weekend.
Summer signing Christian Atsu is likely to make his first start for the Magpies out wide, with the Ghanaian forward expected to use his pace to trouble the Norwich defence.
Matt Ritchie could continue on the left, with his crossing ability likely to help Mitrovic win important aerial duels in the oppositions penalty area.
Newcastle are fifth in the Championship table, with 15 points to their name after nine games, having picked up five wins, one draw and three losses.
In contrast Alex Neil’s Norwich top the table with 20 points, having won their last four encounters and suffered only one defeat so far this season.
In other Newcastle team news, Ciaran Clark gives one-word verdict after his sides draw against Aston Villa.