Hayden walking a tightrope

Like Ritchie, central midfielder Hayden is already just two bookings away from a one game suspension, so he is already walking a tightrope.

The defensive midfielder is the only real enforcer available to Rafa Benitez, with the majority of midfielders at his disposal forward thinking.

It means the Spanish boss must manage the former Arsenal man carefully, and this game against Brighton should be one where he is left out.

The Seagulls spend much of the time with the ball in their own half, meaning it will be down to the forward line to pressure them, meaning Hayden can be sacrificed in favour of a more attacking outlet in the shape of Shelvey.

However Shelvey’s inclusion would mean a shared defensive duty between him and Mikel Merino, although as the Borussia Dortmund loanee has demonstrated, he is not afraid to get stuck in.

Click ‘4’ to see the first reason Shelvey should see himself in the starting XI against Brighton

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