Despite success with a back five, Rafa Benitez must revert back to a defensive four against Huddersfield.
Newcastle have deployed a back five in three of their last four games, picking up four points in the process. In the game we used a flat back four, we were pumped 3-0 by West Ham.
However, the aftermath of the Wolves game means Benitez must go back to four in defence.
Four at the back please, Rafa
Matt Doherty’s last minute winner on Sunday was absolutely sickening. The Magpies had worked so hard with 10 men, only to concede in the final minute of play.
It was cruel, but the winning goal was avoidable.
But now that the dust has settled, there are two glaring issues coming out of the Wolves game: DeAndre Yedlin is suspended and Federico Fernandez is injured. The former was sent off for pulling down Diogo Jota early in the second half, while Fernandez was subbed at half time due to a muscle problem.
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That means Newcastle are two defenders light for the trip to Huddersfield, but they will be able to welcome back Fabian Schar after suspension. On top of that, Paul Dummett has had another week of training so will surely be fit to play.
But despite those two returns, Benitez can’t risk five at the back.
With the Christmas fixtures coming up, Newcastle need as many players available as possible, and will need backup on the bench. If Benitez were to name Jamaal Lascelles, Ciaran Clark and Schar as his three centre-backs, then he’d have no backup options to turn to.
Newcastle must go back to a flat back four. Get Dummett in at left-back, Javi Manquillo will be right-back, then it’s up to Benitez to select his two central defenders.
If we had more options then five at the back would be great, but it’s just not viable against Huddersfield.