Newcastle United will travel to the South East of England on Tuesday to face League One side Gillingham FC in Round 2 of the League Cup, and according to Lee Ryder, the same players that featured in the 0-0 draw with Aston Villa on Saturday will be making the trip.
On one hand, it's a nice departure from last season's complete ignorance of cup play, and perhaps this will give a squad with so many new players more of a chance to gel. A strong performance, even if it's against a lower side, can be a confidence booster, something which is clearly needed in front of goal.
However, it smacks of a stubbornness that Newcastle fans hate to see in Alan Pardew. Newcastle were unchanged for the Villa match, and we're still waiting on the first goal of the season. The current formation/personnel package isn't working. Why not take Facundo Ferreyra (among others) on the trip? Where does this leave Rolando Aarons, who was left off the bench in favor of Siem de Jong? If Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa is still dealing with the knock that kept him out of the squad for Saturday's match, who will back up Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor? At least one new player will need to be introduced given Mike Williamson's suspension for picking up a double yellow, but ostensibly it will be a defensive player. Maybe Pardew is counting on signing somebody by then?
Of course, taking the same squad doesn't mean we'll see the same XI, but there will be some overlap. A guess:
Elliot | Janmaat, STaylor, Coloccini, Haidara | Obertan, Abeid, Anita, Cabella | Ayoze, Rivière
Bench: Krul, Dummett, Sissoko, Gouffran, Colback, de Jong, Yanga-Mbiwa?
Seriously, who's going to play in the back this week?