It is Real Madrid’s one-time assistant manager v Real Madrid former manager on Sunday, as Paul Clement and Rafa Benitez face each other.

Rafa Benitez has been ruled out of taking training so far this week, due to the after-effects of surgery.

However, Paul Clement said at today’s press conference that he is expecting Newcastle to be organised on Sunday and declared ‘Rafa has worked on them – you can see that’.

The Swansea boss says the visitors ‘are on the back of a strong result’ after beating West Ham 3-0 but Swansea did ok themselves last time out.

A 2-0 win at Selhurst Park ensured that Crystal Palace are rock bottom and Swansea now have four points, one more than Newcastle.

When it comes to players available, Paul Clement confirmed that Jordan Ayew will be fine despite being ill on international duty with Ghana (and Christian Atsu) but that defender Kyle Bartley is out for three months.

However, much interest will centre on the two big late transfers and whether they start v Newcastle.

Wilfried Bony returned in a £13m deal, whilst Renato Sanches was a stunning signing, the 20 year old Portuguese midfielder arriving from Bayern Munich on loan, a year after a £32m transfer, which could rise to over £70m if hitting targets.

With Bony, Paul Clement confirmed ‘he will be involved’, whilst with Sanches he comments ‘I anticipate he will be involved on Sunday’.

Sounds like Wilfried Bony could well start and Sanches set to be on the bench.

Rafa Benitez will be missing the now injured Chancel Mbemba and the suspended Aleksandar Mitrovic – but will be hoping to welcome back Yedlin and Lejeune, as well as free from suspension, Jonjo Shelvey.

Paul Clement pre-Newcastle press conference:

“Newcastle United are on the back of a strong result, they will be organised. Rafa has worked on them – you can see that.

“Having come up against his teams in the past, they always have good structure.

“I think he’s been a very good coach at the top level for many, many years.

“They lost at home to Tottenham and they would be disappointed with the result away at Huddersfield.

“However, they have responded well after two losses – that was a very strong result against West Ham.

“I think all players who have done well for their respective clubs should get good receptions.

“Jonjo Shelvey was a very good player here.

“He has just come back from suspension, so I’m not sure whether he’ll start or come into the game (off the bench).”

“Renato Sanches will be here tomorrow (Friday).

“He will have two sessions ahead of facing Newcastle United and I anticipate he will be involved on Sunday.

“He is still a young player though, so we have to be careful not to put too much pressure on him.

“If you watched him in the Euros, you can see how much of a talent he is. I think he can make a big contribution.

“Wilfried Bony is very focused and has had a really positive influence on the dressing room already – he will be involved.

“Kyle Bartley is out for possibly 12 weeks, which is a real shame because he’s been playing well.

“Jordan Ayew is fit and well.

“He travelled back, trained on his own yesterday and took part in full training today. No problems.”

  • Steve Pearce

    As I said yesterday, both of Swansea’s mentioned signings seem over valued and lacking match fitness, I’m sure Paul Clement will miss Rafa if he doesn’t make the match – but i hope he doesn’t mind clearing up a load of splattered Seagulls after the match…

    • Geordiegiants

      Ah don’t know like, I wouldn’t of said no to Bony.

      • Clarko

        Well you should, transfermarkt says his value is £11.73693m.
        Ashley has given Rafa all available money, I know because I’ve seen the club accounts and obviously know more than you morons.
        So why should Ash bank roll such a lucrative deal?
        You idiot.

        • Geordiegiants

          You’ve seen the club accounts??????
          We aye hahahahahahahaha 🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣
          You get funnier as every day passes.

          • Clarko

            I went on a stadium tour but snuck off at one point when I saw a door marked “Private – Official Club Accounts”.

            I’ve seen them. I know the truth. All these stupid moronic keyboard warriors who claim to be fans pretend they know the truth about Ashley, they don’t. I do, who’s seen the accounts?
            Me, so shut the f*ck up.

          • osmosis

            Clearly that H has gone to your head. Delusional

          • Leazes Ender

            What happened to the advertising revenue Kevin?

          • Clarko

            I’m not willing to divulge my secrets to morons.

          • Leazes Ender

            What happened to the advertising revenue Kevin?

          • Geordiegiants

            Read this looney above!

          • Tony Mann

            Hush now – where’s your medication?

          • Kneebotherm8


          • Geordiegiants

            So how much do we get per shirt sale?

          • Jimblag23

            i wouldn’t even bother engaging this gimp.,

          • Geordiegiants

            His replies are getting more and more bizarre. I nearly choked when I read some of these replies.

          • Clarko

            £27.31 contrary to popular belief.

          • Geordiegiants

            What ??????? Are you being serious? Have you took your medication?

          • Clarko

            I don’t take medication, other than homeopathic remedies I make myself.
            I don’t poison my body with chemicals like you sheep.

          • Geordiegiants

            You can’t be serious about this whole thing can you?

          • Clarko

            As serious as my addiction to Warhammer.

          • Geordiegiants

            I’m going to have to leave it there, I now know you are a real weirdo. WARHAMMER!!!!

          • Clarko

            Ok. May the force be with you 🖖

          • Kneebotherm8

            I say sack Penfold for leaving the door unlocked😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

          • Geordiegiants

            Ha ha lol, apparently only Penfold works there now, so it’s defo all his fault.

      • Oooh bobbi fleckman

        I said the same of Pamela Anderson but, whatever rocks your boat.

    • Geordiegiants

      Read this lunatic below!