Rotherham United Home Preview 16/17

Magpies Look To Reclaim Top Spot Against Struggling Millers

The pressure is back on Newcastle to reclaim top spot as we go into tomorrows game at home to struggling Rotherham looking to make it 3 wins in the space of 7 days after last weekends hard fought win at Brentford and the excellent midweek FA Cup replay win over Birmingham.

Unfortunately Brighton sneaked a last gasp winner tonight that has put them back on top for the time being at least but as ever we need to focus on ourselves and get back to winning football mataches after a sticky few weeks.

Tomorrow is a great opportunity at home to the leagues bottom side but as we all know there are no guarantees where Newcastle are concerned and as we have seen with the Blackburn games you always have to be wary of teams that are battling for points and can sometimes come into these games with little expectation and thus play with no pressure on them.

We certainly cant take them for granted especially given the slightly depleted nature of our squad as injuries and the African Cup of Nations begin to kick in.

The massive plus point of course though is the return of Jonjo Shelvey from his 5 game ban. It was good to seem him come through Wednesday unscathed and even better to see him play so well. He is absolutely massive for us and his return certainly cushions the blow slightly of Gayle being out.

With Mitrovic also out it is a massive chance for Daryl Murphy to continue showing what he can do after 2 key goals in his last 2 games.

It is for scenarios like this that he was brought in and I think he obviously knew he wasnt going to be first choice but it is always nice to see someone wait patiently for a chance and then take it.

Irrespective of the game we had on Wednesday you would think that with who we have available the team will pretty much pick itself.

I would expect to see Darlow back in goal behind a back 4 of Dummett, Lascelles, Clark and Yedlin with Hayden and Shelvey resuming their partnership in front of them and then Ritchie, Perez and Gouffran playing behind Murphy.

Still a massively strong 11 that and whilst we obviously have to be careful you would have to say it should be more than comfortably beating the bottom side in the league who also look to have a few players missing themselves.

Will be interesting to see if any of the youngsters involved on Wednesday make the bench although obviously the likes of Ameobi and Sterry who were both cup tied will also be available.

Either way it is unlikely to be a massively strong bench but fingers crossed we wont need it and can get the job done and without any further injuries.

With Brighton looking pretty unstoppable at the minute bar last weeks blip we cant be slipping up in games like this and need to take full advantage and get ourselves back on top and I suppose more importantly keep that gap between us and the likes of Leeds and Reading in the playoff places.

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