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Newcastle United v Everton – Can the Magpies finally halt this worrying slide?

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Newcastle United are in a relegation battle, and the sooner they begin to pick up points, the better. 

Newcastle United v Leicester City - Premier League
Rafa Benitez is desperate for a win after a very troublesome few weeks.
Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Rafa Benitez will be expected to name Jamaal Lascelles in the starting eleven, after opting to leave him on the bench at the weekend, following his injury comeback. Florian Lejeune and Ciaran Clark offered up another defensive horror show, and their places will surely come under threat.

Paul Dummett may not be able to return to the back four though. He played in an under-23 game recently, but will likely be short of match fitness. Javier Manquillo and Chancel Mbemba are therefore set to fight it out for the left-back spot.

Mikel Merino has not been able to recapture his early season form following his back injury, and may come under threat. Jonjo Shelvey and Mo Diame will be desperate for a start.

Christian Atsu did make his first appearance since early November in the Leicester defeat, and will be expected to start this time out. Matt Ritchie has been very poor as of late, so it would not be a surprise to see him lose his place.

Newcastle United v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League
Newcastle have missed Atsu's pace during his spell on the sidelines.
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Joselu and Dwight Gayle both scored at St James’ Park on Saturday, and will both be hoping that Rafa Benitez’s keeps the faith in them. Aleksandar Mitrovic looks as though he will not start another game for Newcastle.

For the visitors, new manager Sam Allardyce has confirmed that Leighton Baines will not be available for the trip to Tyneside, so he will be forced to look at the likes of Cuco Martina (who will make the game), Mason Holgate and Jonjoe Kenny to play at left-back.

Michael Keane did not feature against Liverpool at the weekend, but may come into the side on Wednesday night. Ashley Williams will start, despite enduring an awful season.

Tom Davies’ form has improved lately, but the youngster could find himself on the bench for this game, with Morgan Schneiderlin hoping for a start. Idrissa Gueye will definitely play.

Yannick Bolasie played in a reserve game recently, as he stepped up his long-awaited recovery from a nasty knee injury. The winger will not be able to play for the first team just yet, but the signs are positive.

Aaron Lennon and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are options on the right flank, whilst Gylfi Sigurdsson should play on the left. Kevin Mirallas has seemingly been frozen out completely.

Liverpool v Everton - Premier League
Calvert-Lewin won a much talked about penalty in the Merseyside derby this weekend.
Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Newcastle will be wary of Wayne Rooney, who has scored 14 goals against them in his career, more than he has against any other side.

Ramiro Funes Mori, Ross Barkley and Seamus Coleman all remain long-term injury absentees.

Likely line ups

Newcastle: Darlow, Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Mbemba, Shelvey, Merino, Atsu, Murphy, Gayle, Joselu

Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Keane, Williams, Holgate, Schneiderlin, Gueye, Calvert-Lewin, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Niasse

Score prediction: Newcastle United 1-1 Everton

The game has not been selected for TV coverage. You can also follow the match by tuning into BBC Radio Newcastle's live commentary, courtesy of the official NUFC website.