The Newcastle starting XI to beat QPR…

Newcastle are well up and running in the Championship now.

The Magpies endured a sluggish start with two losses in their opening two games to Fulham and Huddersfield respectively but since they’ve four on the trot to second in the division.

It’s a real statement to the rest of the league that they’re ready to win the title with the way they bounced back from those opening defeats and you’d be hard pushed to find a better team to stop them this year.

Huddersfield are currently four points clear but the men from St. James’ Park will be confident they can overhaul that gap starting with QPR on Tuesday night.

The game at Loftus Road will see the north-east side face a club that has promotion desires of their own with Rangers currently sat in seventh in the league.

Newcastle, however, will go into the game as favourites and we reckon this lineup should get them the three points…

Matz Sels

Matz Sels

Sels has done well so far in goal and with Tim Krul still sidelined the new signing will once again be between the sticks.

Vurnon Anita

Vurnon Anita

Anita has been a mainstay for the Magpies at right back so should start the game at Loftus Road as their defence looks ever stronger.

Chancel Mbemba

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Mbemba is improving and his understanding with Jamaal Lascelles is getting better with each game. Benitez likes a solid defensive central partnership and he’s getting the makings of one.

Jamaal Lascelles

Lascelles

The club captain will once again lead his side on to the pitch in London in a role that he is really starting to embrace. He’s a real physical presence and leads by example at the back.

Paul Dummett

Davide Santon

The local lad is coming into his own in this Newcastle side and it would make no sense whatsoever for Rafa to change the back four after their shutout against Derby.

Matt Ritchie

Ritchie

Ritchie’s signing demonstrated the pulling power the club still has and his performances so far have only affirmed what a signing it was. He’ll be key in unlocking the QPR door.

Jonjo Shelvey

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Picked up a yellow in the game against the Rams but should still start given his range of passing and ability in the centre of the pitch.

Jack Colback

ColbackNUFC

Colback is the engine in Newcastle’s midfield and will have to work hard to keep the likes of Tjarron Chery quiet in Rangers midfield.

DeAndre Yedlin

Yedlin

Yedlin came on and scored in the game against Derby, replacing the other goal-scorer Yoan Gouffran, so it’s a real toss of a coin.

Given this game comes quickly after that, though, Rafa might choose to rotate and play the former Spurs man.

Mohamed Diame

Mohamed Diame

Diame is a real powerhouse and a very good replacement for Moussa Sissoko. He has to start to give Newcastle the drive they need in the central areas.

Ayoze Perez

Ayoze Perez

Like with Yedlin, this is a toss up between Perez and Gayle but Perez should get the nod after being the sub on Saturday. Gayle couldn’t find the net in the game against Derby so Perez needs to grasp this chance with both hands.