Newcastle are aiming to make it three wins on the bounce this Saturday against West Ham.
Following routine home victories against Huddersfield and Burnley, the Hammers present a much tougher task.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side are currently in 10th place, five points above the Magpies. When the sides met earlier in the season, West Ham put on a clinic, heading back to London with all three points after an easy 3-0 win.
How will Rafa Benitez set up at the London Stadium?
Yedlin or Manquillo?
Against Burnley, Benitez made one change. That was on the right side of defence, as Javi Manquillo replaced DeAndre Yedlin.
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The Spaniard played well, staking a claim to be first-choice.
However, it’s likely that Yedlin will return to the side. Despite being torn apart by Felipe Anderson last time, the American’s pace will be a useful asset against the tricky Brazilian. Neither Yedlin or Manquillo are ideally equipped to handle Anderson, but the former is probably the better option.
Time for a change in midfield
Isaac Hayden and Sean Longstaff have been exceptional.
However, it is time for Benitez to rotate. The pair have played a lot of football in the last couple of months, and it’s time for a rest.
Mo Diame came on as a substitute against Burnley, and should start against his former club. His energy could be essential to getting a result.
Longstaff is better than Hayden on the ball, so it’s the latter who should make way for Diame. This is by no means a reflection on Hayden’s form, more a chance to inject some extra energy into centre midfield.
The three amigos start again
Miguel Almiron, Ayoze Perez and Salomon Rondon are a front three with massive potential. They linked up brilliantly against Huddersfield, and while it wasn’t quite as easy on Tuesday night, they should start once again against West Ham.
On the huge pitch at the London Stadium, Almiron could get some real joy in behind with his pace.
Predicted XI to face West Ham: Dubravka; Schar, Lascelles, Lejeune; Yedlin, Longstaff, Diame, Ritchie; Almiron, Perez, Rondon.