Good news for Newcastle as Stoke set to be missing 2 key players
Newcastle United go into Saturday’s match buoyant, after consecutive wins against West Ham and Stoke.
Not conceding a goal in over three hours of football, Rafa Benitez is spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting his centre-backs.
Florian Lejeune returned at Swansea but sat out the entire game on the bench, with Ciaran Clark and Jamaal Lascelles overseeing the clean sheet in a 1-0 win.
Chancel Mbemba may also be back to give Rafa a fourth option in the middle.
However, Benitez’ opposite number, Mark Hughes, has problems at the back.
He has been playing a 3-5-2 system with Ryan Shawcross, Geoff Cameron and Kurt Zouma as first choice when the season kicked off.
However, Hughes has confirmed today (Thursday) that Ryan Shawcross is likely to miss the Newcastle match as he is still struggling with the back injury that kept him out of the 2-2 draw on Saturday against Manchester United. Though the Stoke boss will give his captain every chance, by conducting a late fitness test.
Another one of his centre-backs, USA international Geoff Cameron is definitely out though, having been forced off against Man Utd with a hamstring injury.
Stoke did spend money in the summer and have the likes of £18m signing Kevin Wimmer to call on but if he is without two first choice centre-backs of his three at the back system, then Mark Hughes clearly will be at a disadvantage.
“We’re still waiting on Ryan and we will have to check on him nearer to game time but he’s still a doubt unfortunately.
“Geoff Cameron is not available and he will probably be missing for the next couple of weeks.
“He will most likely be back after the Chelsea game I would think, which is a shame because he’s had a bright start to the season.
“We have one more training session to go but apart from the two I’ve mentioned, for the most part, everybody else is ok for Saturday.”
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