With no FA Cup fixture, Newcastle have to settle for a friendly against CSKA Moscow this weekend.

The Magpies have been taking part in a warm-weather training camp since Tuesday, flying out to Spain following the draw against Wolves.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United)

Rafa Benitez took his side to the same camp last season, as they took part in a very odd 135 minute match against Royal Antwerp, with three 45 minute periods. This won’t happen this time, but Newcastle will face a tough task against the Russian side.

So what team will Benitez start with?

A change in goal

A lot has been said about Martin Dubravka after Monday night. The debate on whether it was a foul or not has rumbled on all week.

Dubravka should not be dropped. But for this friendly, it should be seen as another chance to give Freddie Woodman some minutes.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United)

DeAndre Yedlin could be replaced by Javi Manquillo, as the American really struggled against Wolves. At centre-back, we’ve decided to opt for Jamaal Lascelles and Florian Lejeune, but Benitez has a plethora of options to choose from.

At left-back, Paul Dummett should get some minutes from the off after his injury lay off.

Time to test Diame and Longstaff together

Isaac Hayden and Sean Longstaff have formed a brilliant partnership. However, the friendly against CSKA Moscow presents a chance to try something new.

Mo Diame should start alongside Longstaff, just like Newcastle ended the game at Molineux. Another option is to play Ki Sung-Yueng, who is also back from injury.

Out wide, Kenedy deserves a chance to get back to his best. In a more familiar formation of 4-4-1-1, the Brazilian might look a bit more convincing.

Almiron to start?

Miguel Almiron’s cameo against Wolves was something to behold.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United)

The Paraguayan looked ridiculously quick, and rarely gave the ball away. He should start the friendly out in Spain, as it is a great chance for him to get his match sharpness back ahead of the Huddersfield clash.

Salomon Rondon shouldn’t be risked, however, so it will likely be Joselu who leads the line.

Predicted lineup to face CSKA Moscow: Woodman; Manquillo, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett; Atsu, Diame, Longstaff, Kenedy; Almiron; Joselu.

Related Topics