Tonight Newcastle will host Burton Albion at home. Albion are currently in 19th place and find themselves at the wrong end of the table. However, on the other end of the spectrum, Newcastle currently find themselves in 2nd place and two points behind Brighton coming into this game in hand. After Burton’s winner against Huddersfield, the gap between Newcastle has been widened to 10 points. In this article, I’ll be talking about who I want to start and state my reasons for each player. Injury wise Ciaran Clark and DeAndre Yedlin will definitely be out.

Back five

In the goalkeeper position, I would want Karl Darlow in net. He’s been solid all season and there isn’t much competition for the spot. Matz Sels has been poor this season and Rob Elliot hasn’t posed much of a threat for the role.

At right back I would want Jesus Gamez. Newcastle should be looking to dominate the match from kick-off so counter attacks shouldn’t be an issue, the full-back won’t necessarily need a lot of pace. Gamez is defensively sound but has been a victim of niggling injuries. I think the Spaniard deserves to start and prove his worth to the squad.

For the two centre backs, I think Lascelles and Hanley should start. Hanley is a typical no-nonsense defender and Lascelles is a top quality defender. Burton have a very low goal tally this season so conceding shouldn’t be a worry for Newcastle.

For the final defender, I would go for Paul Dummett. In the Premier League, the Welshman is sub-par, however, he has been surprisingly good in the Championship. I think he’s more than capable to do a job on Burton’s attackers.

Midfield

On the left wing Atsu should start. The winger on loan from Chelsea possess great pace and is a very accomplished crosser. He can cause Burton’s defenders constant problems all match and should easily score or get an assist.

Matches can be won and lost in the centre of midfield so it’s vital to get the selection right. Jonjo Shelvey should definitely start as he is the heartbeat of the team. Every attack comes from something he’s started. He’s the most important player in the team so he must start. Partnering Shelvey should be Isaac Hayden. Hayden can win the ball back with ease so he complements Shelvey well.

On the right side of midfield, Ritchie should play. The Scotsman has been a vital player all season, scoring ten goals and creating seven. He’s been formidable on the right and deserves his spot in the team.

Striker

Daryl Murphy should start in a deeper role to knock down long balls from midfield. Burton are likely to park the bus from the start so having a tall, strong striker should disrupt the defence and throw them off their game.

Partnering Murphy should be Dwight Gayle. What more can be said about Gayle? He’s been the Championship’s best striker and has already netted 22 league goals. In factm Gayle scored the last time the two teams met back in December. This should be a relatively easy match for the Englishman.

Feature image credit: Martin Le Roy

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