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THE INSIDE TRACK: NEWCASTLE UNITED

27 September 2016

Our guide to the Magpies

NORWICH City travel to Newcastle United on Wednesday, September 28 (7:45pm) in the Sky Bet Championship. 

Here we take a look at what City will come up against at St James' Park.

IN THE DUGOUT
Few managers in the Sky Bet Championship bring more experience than Newcastle's Rafa Benitez, the former Liverpool boss who famously guide the Reds to Champions League glory in 2005.

Benitez has been at the dugout of some of the biggest clubs in Europe, impressively winning two La Liga titles with Valencia in the early 2000s amid fierce competition from Barcelona and Real Madrid.


It was at Madrid where the 56-year-old was most recently before arriving on Tyneside, having been in charge at the Bernabeu as recently as January this year after spells with Inter Milan, Chelsea and Napoli.

After leaving the Spanish giants, Benitez was snapped up by Newcastle in March but was unable to prevent his new team from dropping out of the Premier League.

However, he quickly outlined his commitment to remain with the club, signing a fresh three-year deal this summer.

IN THE PRESS
Rafa Benitez is anticipating a competitive contest when his Newcastle United side host Norwich City on Wednesday evening.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference on Tuesday, Benitez told reporters: "They are a good team with good offensive players who have pace and experience.

"We have to do well if we want to win. If we can improve our game a bit, then we have more chances to do that.


"It's important for both teams but we have a lot of games to play. We can't win the title tomorrow."

With United coming into the match off the back of a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa at the weekend, the Spaniard added: "There is room for improvement and it's a question of doing things the right way.

"We have to stay calm, concentrate, do our jobs properly and keep winning games."

ONE TO WATCH
Jamaal Lascelles has steadily emerged from a fringe player at United to a key component, being handed the captaincy ahead of the campaign getting underway.

The 22-year-old signed from Nottingham Forest in August 2014 before spending the entirety of the 2014-15 season back at the City Ground on loan.

Making his Premier League debut for Newcastle last October, the defender had to wait until January's meeting with Watford for a maiden league start in black and white.


Lascelles marked his inclusion against the Hornets with a goal, and the arrival of Rafa Benitez as manager saw his first team opportunities gradually increase.

Following an impressive pre-season during which Benitez praised his 'character' and 'personality', the youngster was subsequently handed the captaincy at the start of August.

THE SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Rob Elliot, Karl Darlow, Matz Sels. 

Defenders: Ciaran Clark, Paul Dummett, Grant Hanley, Jamaal Lascelles (c), Achraf Lazaar, Vurnon Anita, Chancel Mbemba, Massadio Haidara, DeAndre Yedlin, Duarte Jesus Gamez.

Midfielders: Jack Colback, Matt Ritchie, Jonjo Shelvey, Isaac Hayden, Mohamed Diame, Rolando Aarons, Cheick Tiote, Christian Atsu.

Forwards: Dwight Gayle, Ayoze Perez, Yoan Gouffran, Daryl Murphy, Aleksandar Mitrovic.



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