By Russell Edge
Newcastle United fans have turned to social media to react to news that Rafael Benitez has named an unchanged starting line up for their clash against Crystal Palace.
The Magpies confirmed their starting XI for the home tie against the Eagles via their official Twitter account, which saw Benitez retain the same XI from their draw against Southampton last weekend.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) October 21, 2017
The news will come as a shock to many, with the Spanish manager having established a reputation of chopping and changing his starting XI to retain fitness and form throughout his side.
However he has bucked his traditions and kept faith with his players, although some supporters were not convinced by his selection, taking to Twitter to voice their opinions.
Here, Football Insider has rounded up a selection of the fans’ best tweets:
Good team 💪🏽 let’s do this lads ⚫️⚪️
— Ben Mancebo-Thomas (@BenMancebo) October 21, 2017
Rafa out no mitro no party
— Andy Mason (@andymason86) October 21, 2017
Unchanged side, settled.
— ɴᴏᴛᴏʀɪᴏᴜꜱ ꜰᴏʀ ɴᴏᴡᴛ (@LostBoy180) October 21, 2017
Not playing merino baffles me
— Mark Choake (@markchoake) October 21, 2017
Extremely disappointed to see Merino on the bench for a home game! But what do I know! #NUFC
— JJ Fletcher (@JJFletcher7) October 21, 2017
Yes Merino is quality, but Hayden can’t be dropped or Perez after last week. Bringing Merino on later could tear Palace apart👀 Trust Rafa 🙌🏻
— CallumGeere (@CallumGeere) October 21, 2017
The unchanged side means that Mikel Merino and Ciaran Clark, both benched last week after international duty, have to make do with a substitute’s appearance yet again, while there is a return for Aleksandar Mitrovic after seeing himself snubbed for recent games.
Newcastle come into Saturday’s clash off the back of a 2-2 draw against Southampton, having twice seen themselves surrender the lead and ultimately have to settle for a point at St Mary’s.
Crystal Palace meanwhile scored their first goals and picked up their first win of the season last weekend, having defeated reigning champions Chelsea 2-1 at Selhurst Park.
However victory was not enough to see them move off of the bottom of the table, as they sit on three points, one behind Bournemouth and five off West Ham, who sit just outside the relegation zone in 17th.
In other Newcastle United news, this man has confirmed he is looking to depart the club in January despite having signed a long-term contract.