After two defeats in the opening pair of games, the last thing Rafa Benitez needed was more injuries.
At his press conference today the Newcastle boss stated that Moussa Sissoko had (allegedly) picked up an ankle injury but more importantly, he has confirmed that Mohamed Diame is also unavailable for selection after injuring his ankle in training.
Mohamed Diame was really poor against Huddersfield and really struggled to get into the game but it wasn’t through any lack of effort.
There was plenty of movement from the player but Newcastle’s ponderous approach play and lack of incisive passing, meant he was starved of the ball in that 2-1 defeat – lasting 75 minutes before Ayoze Perez replaced him.
Newcastle fans would have been hoping for Diame to step up on that debut and show the form he had for Hull last year, scoring 10 Championship goals to help them into the Premier League.
With Matt Ritchie not being fit enough to start on Saturday and no update as to whether he was able to train again (he missed training last week), Newcastle could be missing two players who actually have looked to make runs into dangerous areas.
As opposed to Hayden, Anita, Colback, Aarons and Perez who have given Dwight Gayle precious little support in his lone striking role during these opening two matches.
No explanation was given for the absence of another new signing, Grant Hanley, when his name was missing even from the bench – presumably also injured after playing at Fulham, so guesswork as to whether he will be named in tomorrow night’s squad.