It’s been a while since we’ve seen Newcastle regularly play four at the back.

In the Premier League, Rafa Benitez has often opted for a back five, making his team more solid and difficult to break down. However, this has hindered our attacking exploits at times.

The only times we’ve seen four at the back have been in the two FA Cup clashes with Blackburn. With Newcastle boasting a wealth of decent centre-back options, playing five at the back hasn’t been a bad idea.

(Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Last night, Newcastle lost Ciaran Clark and Jamaal Lascelles to injury. While Benitez wasn’t too concerned by the injuries, it does give him a chance to change the system once again.

Four at the back against Cardiff?

The game against Cardiff is simply must-win. With more tough games to come against Manchester City and Tottenham, the Magpies must pick up three points. Otherwise, we could start to be cut adrift at the bottom.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United)

Cardiff are hardly the most attacking team, as we saw earlier in the season in the 0-0 draw. Therefore, it would be obscenely negative for Benitez to play five at the back.

With Clark and Lascelles possibly ruled out, Benitez can still call upon Federico Fernandez and Florian Lejeune. Some would argue that this is Newcastle’s strongest pair.

We need to take the game to Cardiff on Saturday, and reverting to four at the back will be a good start.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United)

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