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Newcastle United

Matt Ritchie should slot into unfamiliar role for Newcastle v Huddersfield

Newcastle United travel to Huddersfield Town on Saturday in the Premier League and have a problem area at right-back ahead of the contest.

The Magpies are without their usual right-sided defender DeAndre Yedlin due to his suspension, which means they are left fairly short on their options.

Javier Manquillo would be the natural replacement at right-back, but he looks out of his depth in the Premier League at times and could be targeted by Huddersfield.

Manager Rafael Benitez should turn to Matt Richie as a one-off fix and deploy him as the right wing-back at the weekend.

Newcastle experimented with a three man defence in their last game during the unfortunate 2-1 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers, with Ritchie being effective as a left wing-back.

Ritchie is usually a winger that tries to create chances in the final third, but he’s always had a tremendous work-rate and never hides from his defensive responsibilities.

The 29-year-old is surely capable of slotting in at right wing-back against Huddersfield if Benitez sticks with the same formation and may be a safer bet than Manquillo.

Newcastle could well need his quality from set-pieces to carve open Huddersfield and have enough ability in their defence with three centre-backs to remain solid.

Ritchie, who cost £12million (Daily Mail) from Bournemouth, is a versatile ace that could help fill a much-needed role during the absence of Yedlin.

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