Trio axed as Yedlin stays in – Newcastle best XI v Cardiff

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Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has a lot to decide for when he takes his team to Cardiff on Saturday afternoon, having suffered defeat to Tottenham in the opening game of the season.

The Magpies were beaten 2-1 in a closely fought encounter against the Lilywhites, and can take a number of positives away from the game despite the result.

However, there are some changes which need to be made in order to get the best out of the starting XI, and it involves axing three of those who started against Spurs at St James’ Park.

Defender Ciaran Clark, midfielder Mohamed Diame and attacker Ayoze Perez need to drop out of the side with summer signings Fabian Schar, Ki Seung-Yung and Salomon Rondon taking their places in what is a 4-4-2 formation.

At the back, Schar, who will now be fully integrated into the first team squad, should be the only change despite Tottenham managing to score twice, meaning that 25-year-old DeAndre Yedlin, who limped off at the end of the clash against his former side, could make a surprise outing despite having been sidelined for much of this week.

In midfield, Benitez must reunite former Swansea pair Ki and Jonjo Shelvey at the expense of Diame, who looked off the pace against Spurs, with the other duo having formed an understanding while with the Swans.

Out wide, Matt Ritchie and Kenedy were great against Tottenham and should be tasked with providing service for Rondon and Joselu up top, the pair working as two target men who can work off one another to provide a serious attacking threat.

It is a bold change but one which can work, and is by far the best XI Benitez can put out against a side likely to be battling relegation this season.

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