With Jonjo Shelvey back, Newcastle are on a run of form at the moment and the potential lineup below will beat Stoke City on Sunday making it three wins in a row.
Now, we’re only four games into the Premier League season, but after starting the season with two defeats, Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez will be a very relieved man after wins against West Ham United and Swansea steadied the ship.
It’s back to St James’ Park on Saturday and after they beat the Hammers 3-0 last time out in front of the home fans, the Spaniard will be desperate to make it three-in-a-row with victory against Stoke City.
After Mark Hughes’ team beat Arsenal and drew with Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United in their last match, Rafa Benitez knows this won’t be an easy game.
But it’s very winnable and we think the Magpies could secure the three points by holding out the olive branch to 25-year-old Jonjo Shelvey.
The former Liverpool player got sent off stupidly in the first game of the season and served his three-match suspension before the game against Swansea last week.
However, the Spanish boss wasn’t ready to throw him back into the first-team straight away – and the 25-year-old remained an unused sub, despite him making three changes during the game.
It’s obvious Shelvey hasn’t been forgiven yet, but he is a talent that can’t be wasted on the sidelines.
Jonjo Shelvey was one of the key players in the Toon’s Championship triumph, registering 41 appearances, he scored five goals and nailed nine assists. And Benitez’s side need him now.
Mikel Merino, one of Benitez’ summer signings, has found his own form, but we’d drop Isaac Hayden to the bench and bring Shelvey back on Saturday.
The 22-year-old hasn’t wowed with his performances and it’s time to welcome Shelvey back into the fold.
Here’s the Football Weeks starting XI that we think will beat Stoke at St James’ Park and send Newcastle up into the top half of the Premier League.