With only 17 days until the Premier League season remaining, Rafa Benitez now knows the players he will have available to him to decide Newcastle United’s fate.
The United boss expects to have two players coming off the injury list but with two others, Rafa accepts they won’t be coming back in time to influence the relegation run-in.
The Shields Gazette say that their information is that Fabricio Coloccini and Daryl Janmaat won’t play in any of these final three matches.
Janmaat picked up two injuries at Southampton, one on the pitch in the lead up to their second goal and another when he threw a punch at half-time that allegedly hit the dressing room wall.
In Coloccini’s case, he was said to have picked up a minor calf injury 10 weeks ago but no sign of him since, plus in the match programme for the Swansea game two weeks ago he claimed to have had a setback after ‘trying too hard’ to get back fit.
In terms of those who will be available, the Shields Gazette report that Steven Taylor and Yoan Gouffran will return to the squad after unspecified injuries.
Many fans assumed the pair had simply been left out after proving not fit for purpose.
Gouffran last seen as an unused substitute against Bournemouth in Steve McClaren’s last match, whilst Taylor was dragged off at half-time after an embarrassing performance 45 minutes against Southampton,