It’s Monday night football this week for Newcastle, as we take on an in-form Wolves side.

Last season’s Championship winners are on a great run, winning three games on the spin. Nuno Espirito Santo’s team have been impressive all season, unfazed by the step up from the second tier.

(Photo by Molly Darlington – AMA/Getty Images)

Wolves are currently in 7th place, 14 points better off than the Magpies. Rafa Benitez has a huge job on his hands getting a result at Molineux, but that’s never stopped him before.

With players returning from injury and Miguel Almiron available too, who will Benitez pick?

Dubravka still the man

Despite a massive error against Spurs, Martin Dubravka’s position as Newcastle’s number one is safe. The stopper has been a great asset since arriving last January, and a couple of mistakes can’t take away from the impact he’s had on Tyneside.

The back five should remain the same, with the three centre-backs all playing well once again at Wembley. Antonio Barreca made his debut off the bench last week, but shouldn’t take Matt Ritchie’s place in the starting XI.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United)

Big call in centre midfield

Benitez confirmed ahead of the game that Jonjo Shelvey and Rob Elliot are the only players not available for selection.

 

That means that Mo Diame and Ki Sung-Yueng could return to the side. They were Benitez’s preferred pair before Ki left for the Asian Cup, but Isaac Hayden and Sean Longstaff have stepped up in recent weeks.

Longstaff must retain his place, but Hayden should make way. Diame’s energy in the middle will be important up against the likes of Ruben Neves, and he should partner local lad Longstaff.

Almiron on the bench against Wolves

While fans are desperate to see Miguel Almiron in action, he may have to settle for a place on the bench.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United)

Christian Atsu will get one more chance to prove himself, while Ayoze Perez has seen his form improve in recent weeks. As always, Salomon Rondon will lead the line.

Predicted lineup to face Wolves: Dubravka; Schar, Lascelles, Lejeune; Yedlin, Longstaff, Diame, Ritchie; Atsu, Perez, Rondon.