Rafa Benitez has given an injury update on four Newcastle players ahead of Tuesday night’s trip to Oakwell.

With the Barnsley match coming up only three days after the 3-1 win over Brentford, no doubt the United boss will be looking to have as many squad rotation options as possible for the game.

Newcastle fans were surprised to see Captain Jamaal Lascelles taken off with half an hour to go on Saturday, with Grant Hanley getting some rare minutes on the pitch.

However, Rafa Benitez has revealed that the former Nottingham Forest defender should be fine for Barnsley as he was feeling the after effects of an illness rather than any injury.

Rafa declaring:

“We had to take him (Jamaal Lascelles) off because he felt weak (through illness) – but there was nothing else.”

Daryl Murphy has become a bit of a forgotten man with no Championship minutes on the pitch and then picking up an injury on international duty this month.

The Newcastle Manager thinks Barnsley will probably be too early for the Republic of Ireland striker but will be a potential selection on Saturday when, ironically, it is Ipswich Town the visitors – where United signed the striker from in the summer.

Rafa Benitez:

“Daryl Murphy is nearly there and this week he will be fine, though I am not sure if he will be ready for Tuesday (Barnsley away).”

Two players who were surprise omissions from Saturday’s matchday squad, were Chancel Mbemba and Matt Ritchie.

Rafa confirmed that the DR Congo international is suffering from a leg injury and they monitoring his progress.

It sounds better news on Matt Ritchie though, with the player having suffered from a virus and the club leaving him out against Brentford as a precaution, even though the player himself felt he was fit and ready to play.

A luxury that Newcastle can afford with their squad and players like Christian Atsu to fill the shirt instead.


Matt Ritchie had a problem with the virus and was pushing me all of the time.

“He wanted to play but we had a conversation with the doctor and he said that he couldn’t play – but the fact Ritchie was pushing me to play is a good sign.”