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Rafa Benitez confirms 2 players out injured for Liverpool but 2 passed fit

12 months ago
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Rafa Benitez met the media at lunchtime on Friday.

The United boss giving his press conference ahead of the match at Liverpool on Saturday.

The Newcastle Manager not surprisingly mentioned the weather – but the big question for fans was whether certain players would be fit to play.

On that front (unlike the weather) there were positives and negatives.

Rafa Benitez confirming that Islam Slimani is continuing to work in the gym with physios but isn’t ready to join in with training yet.

As for Jonjo Shelvey, he won’t be available either.

Rafa saying they are waiting on results of scans on his knee and even though Shelvey wants to play, they are exercising caution.

Better news though on Dwight Gayle, with Rafa saying that he is now fine after concerns last weekend about tight hamstrings which forced him off at Bournemouth.

The manager saying that Matt Ritchie had also shaken off a knock.

Rafa Benitez:

 “The weather was fine. We have the indoor and the players are training well.

“Yesterday, we were working very hard. Today, we will train on the grass.

“We try to maximise the time we have. We have analysed videos and done some work indoors.

“The synthetic pitches are much better (than they were) but they are different to normal grass.

“We have been working on our game plan, on playing with the same intensity.

“We will fly to Liverpool. We are checking the weather and hopefully we can do it today.

“Jonjo Shelvey has a knock to his knee and he will not be available.

“We are waiting on the results of the scans. We don’t know how serious it is. He wants to train and play but we have to check.

“Islam Slimani will continue to work with the physios and fitness coach in the gym.

Dwight Gayle is the other one (there was a worry about)  but he is fine.

“Ritchie is fine and the others are ok.

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“Watching the Bournemouth game on video, we had so many chances to finish the game.

“We have to learn from that and learn how to manage games when we are in these positions.

 “It’s not just him (Salah). Firmino, Mané, anyone can be a threat. They have pace, energy. Not just him. We have to try to control everyone with concentration and intensity.

“Liverpool have the pace to play counter attack. They are really good. When they have the ball, the pace, the ability, it is so difficult and we have to take confidence from our win against Man Utd into the game.

“My staff and I won so many things there (at Liverpool). Six years, four trophies. We enjoyed every minute. Their fans, our fans – they are very similar. The connection is there.

“The main thing for me is to try to win. I wish Liverpool all the best, but after this game. We have to do our best.”

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