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West Bromwich Albion v Newcastle United – Surely not five defeats in a row?

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The games are coming thick and fast during a hectic month of December, and Newcastle United need to start firing again. 

Newcastle United v Watford - Premier League
Jonjo Shelvey has to regain his best form if Newcastle are to begin picking up points again.
Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

On the back of a fine performance and result at Tottenham, Gary Megson may well chose to select the same starting eleven this time around.

Allan Nyom started at right-back and the chances are that he will keep his place in the side, especially given the fact that Craig Dawson is still out. On the opposite side, Kieron Gibbs will definitely start.

Ahmed Hegazy and Jonny Evans will likely continue in the heart of the defence after a solid display at Wembley, with Gareth McAuley having to settle for a spot on the bench.

Youngster Sam Field was granted a big opportunity at the weekend, and rewarded his manager’s faith with a fine performance on the big stage. The only other options to play on the left flank would be Hal Robson-Kanu or James McClean given that James Morrison and Chris Brunt are both out.

Nacer Chadli may not play again this year, which means that Matt Phillips will be a shoe-in on the right hand side. Oliver Burke will have to bide his time after making his return from injury.

Southampton v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League
Nacer Chadli looks set to miss the rest of 2017.
Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Salomon Rondon scored his second goal of the season in the draw at Spurs, so will probably have done enough to start against the Magpies. Jay Rodriguez will partner him in attack.

The away side will go into the game on the back of four straight defeats, something Rafa Benitez will want to sort out.

He may well begin to rotate his side due to the heavy load of fixtures coming up, starting with his back-line.

Jamaal Lascelles is not likely to make the game, but Chancel Mbemba will be desperate to prove his worth, especially after very poor performances by Florian Lejeune and Ciaran Clark.

DeAndre Yedlin has admitted that Watford was his worst display in a Newcastle shirt, but the USA international should retain his space in the XI. Although, at left-back, Javier Manquillo may well find himself on the bench, with Jesus Gamez and the returning Paul Dummett breathing down his neck.

Isaac Hayden is back and ready to play after missing the Watford game through suspension. Mikel Merino should also be in line to start his first game since October. They both could replace Jonjo Shelvey and Mo Diame after a below par display on Saturday.

Christian Atsu is not yet ready to make his comeback, so Jacob Murphy, Newcastle’s best player in that 3-0 home reverse, will start once again. Matt Ritchie may well be fearing for his place with Rolando Aarons chomping at the bit to play.

Ayoze Perez could also return, as Benitez weeks to add more defensive nous to his team.

Up front, Joselu may well be dropped for the first time since his arrival on Tyneside. The Spaniard has looked bereft of confidence in recent weeks, so Aleksandar Mitrovic looks in line to be given a chance.

Newcastle United v Watford - Premier League
It could well be Mitro time on Tuesday night.
Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Likely line-ups

West Brom: Foster, Nyom, Evans, Hegazy, Gibbs, Livermore, Barry, Phillips, Robson-Kanu, Rondon, Rodriguez

Newcastle: Elliot, Yedlin, Lejeune, Clark, Gamez, Hayden, Merino, Murphy, Perez, Ritchie, Mitrovic

Score prediction: West Bromwich Albion 0-0 Newcastle United