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Rafa Benitez press conference confirms 2 players won’t start v Huddersfield but it is 3 in reality

3 months ago

Rafa Benitez  has met the media on Friday afternoon.

The Newcastle boss speaking ahead of the key relegation clash against Huddersfield.

Rafa confirmed that everybody is now back training apart from two players.

Benitez stating that Ciaran Clark and Rob Elliot definitely won’t be involved.

However, in reality it is surely three players who are ruled out of starting.

Rafa Benitez saying Jonjo Shelvey is available but only joined in with full training on Thursday.

He hasn’t started a game for 12 weeks and wasn’t able to take any part in Saturday’s friendly against CSKA Moscow.

So surely zero chance of Shelvey starting tomorrow, indeed, I would be amazed if he is on the bench.

Longstaff and Hayden have been doing ok and both Diame and Ki are fully fit now, so I can’t see the manager using up a space on the bench for Shelvey.

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Rafa Benitez:

“You have to make decisions – it’s a dilemma. You have to decide which players are in the squad and which have to wait.

“Apart from Elliot and Clark, the rest of the players are available.

“Jonjo is the last one coming back now and he is pushing, and Ki and Diamé are training well.

“Almirón, for me, was doing quite well (in training) too, so that’s good for us.

“The priority is to stay up, and to focus and concentrate on the team.

“I think it will be a dangerous game, because they (Huddersfield) will try to do their best without feeling too much pressure.

Rafa Benitez speaking to BBC Newcastle:

“We have now Elliot and Clark not available but the others are fine – even Shelvey was training with us yesterday.

“Any of the players can start a game now but obviously the match fitness of Jonjo will be different.”


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