It was all about the three points for Rafa Benitez at the London Stadium.

A win against the odds, as even though they were up against a very poor West Ham side missing a couple of key men in Noble and Lanzini, Newcastle couldn’t have had worse preparation for the relegation clash.

One point from nine games and knowing Manchester City were to follow, the last thing Rafa Benitez needed was further injuries.

Jonjo Shelvey was already suspended for the West Ham match and Gamez & Mitrovic out injured, so when Hayden, Lejeune and Merino were also ruled out, Rafa was forced into emergency action.

The United boss forced to bring in Henri Saivet who had been playing and training with the reserves, as well as a recall for Mohamed Diame who had been sarcastically cheered when subbed on his last previous start, against Everton.

Rafa Benitez welcomes Jonjo Shelvey back amongst his available players for Manchester City on Wednesday night and has revealed that two others could join him.

The Newcastle Manager says it was ‘little problems’ that kept Hayden and Merino out of the West Ham match and they ‘will have a chance for Manchester City’.

However, Mitrovic and Gamez are still definitely out, whilst Benitez also indicates that Florian Lejeune won’t be involved either, his unspecified injury putting him behind Merino and Hayden in his recovery.

Rafa Benitez:

“I think that Merino and Hayden will have a chance for Manchester City because it was little problems (that kept them out on Saturday), they were not fully fit for West Ham.

“Florian Lejeune it will be more difficult and the others – Mitrovic no and Gamez no.

“With Merino and Hayden we will see – maybe.”

Newcastle v Manchester City Match Betting:

Newcastle win 14/1Draw 11/2Man City 2/9

Man City win 4-0 12/1NUFC win 4-0 350/16 or more goals in match 6/1

All Newcastle v Manchester City betting HERE

New customers to BetVictor qualify for up to a £40 welcome bonus in free bets.



  • Simon Ritter

    How is that “encouraging news”. Sounds as if neither Hayden nor Merino is fit enough to start.

    • Wor Lass

      They`ll be fit for Brighton, though.

  • GToon

    Good. I I don’t rate Lejeune at all.

    • TheNutJob

      not doing do good on buying are we

      • GToon

        I think the players we have bought are 6/10 type players. If they up it they can reach 7/10 but if they drop they become 4 or 5 out of ten. We need to be shopping for 8/10 type players. Anyway I’m a maths teacher so that’s my explanation. Maybe I should try it with Ashley.

        • Leazes Ender

          That’s the way people mark it on the scores… lose deduct 2 from everyone… win add 2.

          Anyone has a standout game 1 extra…. lousy game -1

          Man City are all starting at 8

    • Great on the ball, but I think his match fitness is lacking after that early injury. Still miles better than what we had previously.

      • GToon

        Yes I think you are spot on. Maybe he’s gonna need the season to get over that disgraceful tackle by ingurrlands Harry Kane. Hopefully he won’t be another player for us who never quite rediscovers his form after an injury. But I think Laschelles and Clarke are our best pairing anyway.

        • Yes, for sure. Lascelles has become a far better player than I ever imagined. Clark has always been solid.

      • Jezza

        To be fair Lejeune has shown nothing so far to suggest he’s any better than Lascelles or Clark.

        • anyobrien

          Will take him a season to adjust imo…. Much faster and physical to what he’s used to.

          • Jezza

            Which is precisely why the club should have spent a bit more and got an experienced Premiership centre half who could have gone straight into the team and given us an immediate improvement.

          • nufcslf

            Yeah, couldn’t agree more. Still paying the ultimate price for the pathetic amount of funds that were made available last summer with one win in 10. Probably will eat my words here, but really think Man City are due a loss. We will see.

  • TheNutJob

    keep them back until Saturday against Brighton, not many teams in the prem can give citee a run for their money, we aren`t one of them

  • Mitros gotta start

    Aye….no point risking half fit players in a no win game….may as well keep them for brighton

  • Alreet

    Can we actually get something today or am i dreaming………… Yea just woke up. Im going for a 3-0 loss and hoping its not more

    • glassjawsh-got-banned

      you are dreaming about getting points today. But mostly because they don’t play until tomorrow.

  • Grahame Johnson

    On the 27th I will turn up in black and white and after the match I’ll still be a mag, I find some of the posts on the BBC confusing, fans making a choice to swap teams etc, yes we will see world class world cup bound players. If I didn’t love Newcastle United I would have missed every magical moment of the west ham game from despair to joy via 90 minutes of extreme emotions, a 52 year old man shouting at the radio is normal if you love your club,

    • Oldgeordie

      Good for you mate. I’m 81 and I shout at anything, radio, tele and particularly the officials who seem to be so pro the opposition at times it is unbelievable. I have a feeling (or is it hope?) we are going to beat Man City on Wednesday.

  • mentalman

    Dont you just love the december mysterious injuries