With the transfer drama over until the summer, Newcastle turn their attentions to facing Tottenham at Wembley.
January 31st saw the Magpies complete two deals, with Antonio Barreca and Miguel Almiron being added to the squad. Will either feature at Wembley?
Well Almiron certainly can’t as he awaits a work permit. Toon fans will have to wait until February 11th when we face Wolves to see the Paraguayan.
But will Barreca make his debut?
No room yet for Barreca
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And that’s exactly why Rafa Benitez should pick the same back five against Spurs.
The three centre-backs were solid throughout, while both wing-backs played important roles in both goals.
Matt Ritchie provided the cross that led to Salomon Rondon’s equaliser before slamming home the penalty, while DeAndre Yedlin helped put the Manchester City defence under pressure to win said penalty.
Barreca will get his chance eventually, but at the minute he’s merely a backup option. However, he is in the squad to play Tottenham.
Longstaff continues to play against the elite
Since making his first-team debut, Sean Longstaff has played against Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City. And the youngster hasn’t looked out of place, proving he can be an accomplished Premier League midfielder.
He’ll be hoping to continue his strong form against another one of the Premier League big boys.
Ahead of the trip to Tottenham, Benitez confirmed that Mo Diame, Ki Sung-yueng and Jonjo Shelvey are still unavailable for selection, meaning Longstaff will be partnered by Isaac Hayden.
Hayden had asked to leave the club in January, but a move failed to materialise.
Last chance for Atsu?
With Almiron ineligible to play, Christian Atsu has one final chance to keep his place in the starting XI.
The Ghanaian, who cost £6.5million in 2017, has struggled in recent weeks, particularly against Manchester City. Almiron could feasibly play where Atsu does, so the number 30 needs a big performance.
If he struggles again, Almiron could make his debut from the start against Wolves.
Predicted starting XI: Dubravka; Schar, Lascelles, Lejeune; Yedlin, Hayden, Longstaff, Ritchie; Atsu, Perez, Rondon.