Despite an incredible win against Everton, Newcastle suffered two casualties on Saturday.
Fabian Schar picked up his 10th yellow card of the season, which will see him miss our next two games due to suspension. On top of that, Jamaal Lascelles came off at half time due to injury.
While Lascelles’ status ahead of the trip to Bournemouth is unknown, Rafa Benitez should consider a change of formation regardless.
With the Magpies chasing the game, Benitez swapped from a back five to four at the back against Everton. This played a key role in what was an incredible comeback.
After its success against the Toffees, Benitez must start the Bournemouth game with the formation he ended with last time out.
It’s time for four at the back
Benitez had found the perfect system for his team, but it only worked with certain players.
If there is no Schar, then there is no point in deploying three centre-backs. At least one of those needs to be an exceptional ball player, which is exactly what the Swiss summer signing is.
While Florian Lejeune is strong in possession, he’s nowhere near as composed as Schar.
If we were to play five at the back without Schar, we would seriously struggle to get the ball out of defence and control the game.
A centre-back trio of Federico Fernandez, Florian Lejeune and Paul Dummett would be much less successful. However, if they are used as part of a back four with DeAndre Yedlin, we should have a lot more success.
Even if Lascelles is passed fit, Benitez should still play four at the back against the Cherries.