With Newcastle’s survival bid hanging delicately in the balance, Rafa Benitez has some key selection decisions to make this weekend when his side travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
The Magpies boss will want his side to give a good account of themselves against the reigning champions, but the priority is ensuring Newcastle finish the right side of the drop line come the end of May and Sunday’s clash in west London represents a chance to rest certain individuals.
One of the bigger debates is perhaps in the engine room. 21-year-old Mikel Merino impressed during his early outings for Newcastle but has struggled for form since returning from injury and was benched last time out against Manchester City.
Meanwhile, Mo Diame – who Transfermarkt value at £4.5million – hasn’t always been appreciated by the Toon army but he’s been decent during his last three starts in the Premier League – including the 3-1 loss to City – and brings power and athleticism to the midfield.
So, Newcastle fans, which midfielder would you start on Sunday? Let us know by voting below…