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Boost for Rafa Benitez as 2 injured Newcastle players return to training

3 years ago

Last Saturday, Rafa Benitez’ problems were increased with a number of Newcastle players unavailable through injury.

Whilst Florian Lejeune continues to make good progress from is ACL injury, it will be the new year at the earliest before he could potentially be seen again.

Rafa Benitez has ruled Salomon Rondon out until at least after this upcoming international break (Brighton at home on Sat 20 October is next game after Man Utd), though there are fears his absence could be significantly longer.

Only hours before that Leicester game, a media exclusive claimed that both Paul Dummett and Federico Fernandez were also going to miss the match. Which proved to be on the money as both indeed were absent from the squad.

Kenedy played left-back whilst Ciaran Clark came in for Fernandez who had looked Newcastle’s best outfield player this season so far.

The good news is that Newcastle United have confirmed that both Dummett and Fernandez were back in training on Wednesday and indeed Rafa had indicated that they had missed Leicester as more or a precaution, rather than any serious issues.

It is surely a no-brainer that Federico Fernandez returns, both because he has been so impressive and Clark was no better than average last weekend, as well as making a poor effort when marking Maguire who scored the second goal.

I actually thought Kenedy did alright at left-back against Leicester and looked very comfortable most of the game, Dummett is better in the air but especially when playing or bringing the ball out of defence, the Brazilian looked far better.

In games against top six clubs this season, Rafa Benitez has tended to go for three centre-backs, so interesting to see what he does at Old Trafford.

Although with Manchester United in 10th place and not having won a home game for eight weeks, we should be fancying our chances of getting something.

It looks all but certain that Rafa will have a decent choice of options at the back for this match, sadly the question of how Newcastle can score goals remains though, with the only possibility being to throw Muto in instead of Joselu or Perez and hope he can find his feet – at least he would add some pace and difficult to see how he could do any worse than the other two.


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