The Rafa Benitez Birmingham Press Conference has taken place on Friday lunchtime.

The United boss confirming he has more injury problems ahead of Saturday’s match.

DeAndre Yedlin definitely misses Birmingham after the defender travelled to Los Angeles for a second opinion on his thigh injury.

The feedback being that the right-back is set to miss around five weeks of matches, meaning he is only possibly back for the last few games.

Today delivered the news that Ciaran Clark is also ruled out, Newcastle’s best player this season has a knee problem and this is the last thing the NUFC boss needs at this stage of the season.

The two players give so much pace and quality (especially Clark), so to be missing both is a massive blow.

Rafa Benitez gave no indication of replacements but Chancel Mbemba must surely be considered as playing Lascelles with Hanley would have zero pace at the heart of the defence.

The better news Rafa had today, was that whilst Paul Dummett missed out on a Welsh call-up to rest a problem with his heel, he can still play tomorrrow.

At right-back it looks as though a toss up between Gamez and Anita.

Not quite sure about Rafa’s assertion that Birmingham are now ‘a little bit more solid’, with only one win in their last seven matches and five defeat, plus conceding 15 goals, they look to be really struggling.

First quotes from the Rafa Benitez Birmingham Press Conference:

Birmingham have changed their system, and they are now more difficult to beat. It will be another challenge for us.

“Clark has a problem with his medial ligament – he will not be available.

“Doing so well against Brighton and Huddersfield, then Reading, everybody thinks that it’s done but it’s not.

“It will be a tough game, Birmingham are changing and they are a little bit more solid now.

“Fulham was a wake-up call, to be sure that everyone is on their toes and ready.”

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