Derby County Away Preview 16/17

Magpies Looking To Outmuscle The Rams And Make It 5 In A Row

It is back to business after the international break as Newcastle head to the iPro Arena to face Derby County in the late kick off looking to make it 5 wins on the bounce in all competitions.

Thankfully it seems everyone has returned from international duty and with only Rolando Aarons and Rob Eliott currently on the treatment table it leaves Rafa Benitez with a lot of decisions to make and some players not even likely to make the trip to Derby.

This is something pretty much totally unheard of at Newcastle and emphisises the great work that has been done in the transfer market this summer which has finally given us the competition for places that we have been crying out for.

Of course some players are going to be disappointed to be left out but with a game on Tuesday too at QPR then I think it is safe to say that everyone in the squad is going to be needed and will get a chance and of course at some point injuries and suspensions are going to kick in so everyone needs to be ready to impress when called upon.

Will be as interesting as ever to see how the manager approaches this one especially on the back of winning our last game which was done so without Gayle or Mitrovic and obviously a couple of new faces have come in since then too.

Up front is where the main decisions are - Perez of course was forced by the injuries to play up there against Brighton but even though we won the game I think it is clear to everyone that a lone striker role isn't really a role for him. I expect to see Gayle come straight back in and whether that is as a lone striker or whether the manager pairs him with one of the others and maybe goes for it a bit remains to be seen.

The likes of Atsu, Lazaar and Yedlin will obviously be pushing for starts after arriving although you would have to say that after the Brighton game it would be harsh to leave out the likes of Anita, Dummett or Gouffran out given that they would be the likely fall guys were any of the new lads to get a start.

I think the manager will keep faith with Gouff over starting Atsu given it is an away game and Gouff gives you decent defensive work and given that the manager seems to really rate Anita I think Yedlin has a fight on his hands. Dummett's solid nature also maybe gives him an edge away from home so I think it is fairly likely that apart from a change up top we may see pretty much the same team from the Brighton game although I am sure Rafa will spring a surprise and totally rubbish that prediction.

It is just so good to finally be in this position where you don't really know what the manager is going to do because obviously if we as fans are guessing prior to a game then the opposition is also likely to be guessing which can only be good.

I just hope the potential tinkering that a big squad allows has the positive effect of being able to rest players without having too many negative effects of the team maybe not gelling and being able to get a rhythm going. That is my only slight worry with the number of options we have but I trust Rafa and I think it is clear he knows what he is doing.

With regards to Derby they have had a fairly mixed start to the season with a win, 2 draws and 2 defeats from their 5 games. You can look at that positively and say they are there for the taking but at the same time they will be looking to kick start their season and obviously a home game against us is the perfect opportunity to do that.

Nigel Pearson is a good manager and they have some very good players there which they have added to with some good signings in the window so this will not be an easy game and we have struggled the last couple of times we have gone to the iPro.

This will be another massive test of our promotion credentials as we look to put together back to back away wins for what would surely be the first time in ages.

I just really hope that the international break has refreshed us rather than being a negative interuption to our decent form.

If we can play like we did against Brighton but mix it with a bit of the defensive grit we showed at Bristol City then hopefully we can get another positive result.

As ever away from home I think I would always take a point but of course with the squad we have and the aim we have of getting straight back up you are always hopeful of another win.

Should be a good game I think and hopefully it will go our way and give us a good platform to head into another tough game on Tuesday.

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