At least five United players are set to miss Newcastle v Cheltenham tonight, although other regular first team players could also miss out.

According to media reports, Rafa Benitez is set to give a rest to Matz Sels, Dwight Gayle, Vurnon Anita and Isaac Hayden, these four players being the only ones to start all four Championship matches which have been crammed into the opening two weeks of the season.

Rafa has indicated Mitrovic will start and Karl Darlow was always surely going to get a game tonight.

Plenty of options in the centre of midfield to give Hayden a night off, whilst the same at right-back with Daryl Janmaat missing out these last two games.

The Newcastle boss has also confirmed that a fifth player, Ciaran Clark, will definitely not play against Cheltenham, only a precaution after he picked up a knock at Bristol City.

However, there could be other players as well as those five who also started at Bristol City that could be rested tonight, as the United manager says others have knocks as well.

No excuses for Newcastle tonight whatever team is selected, as they have a squad that contains enough players for at least two teams who could compete in the Championship, never mind League Two where Cheltenham are.

Rafa Benitez:

“Some players we’ll leave out because they have a few knocks and we don’t want to take any risks

“Ciaran Clark and another one or two – but it is just for protection.”