It’s a blow that Dwight Gayle will not be available for the game today at Deepdale but it does give a chance to other strikers to show what they can do for Newcastle and that’s particularly true of 22 year-old Aleksandar Mitrovic who played well for us on Tuesday night and scored two good goals.
One the positive side Rafa has Spaniard Jesus Gamez and Moroccan Achraf Lazaar back in the squad for today’s game.
They have both played very little since they signed for us in the summer and both have been suffering from slight injuries.
Jesus Gamez in action for Newcastle against Cheltenham
Right-back Gamez joined us from Atletico Madrid in early July and left-back Achraf Lazaar signed on for us from Palermo in late August after turning down a potential move to Fiorentina in Italy.
Rafa has explained their absence:
“They have been training in half-training sessions and now full training sessions,”
“Gamez and Lazaar will both be in the squad.” “We are losing something at the front of the pitch, but gaining at the back for this weekend.”
“The team was doing well, and Lazaar picked up a little bit of an injury and was taking a little bit of time to come back, but we didn’t need to rush him.”
“Gamez, he was training with a little bit of pain, so I said ‘listen, stop. We cannot keep pushing and pushing’.”
“We had to do another treatment and find a solution, and hopefully we have found that solution.”
There is tough competition all over the pitch at Newcastle and that is likely to be increased with goalkeeper Rob Elliot and defender Massadio Haidara now pushing for places in the side.
We expect Rob to potentially get his first team place back in the team before the end of the year, although Karl Darlow is playing extremely well for the side.
Rob Elliot – pushing for a start
But Massadio, who hasn’t played for a year because of injury, has a number of full backs in front of him in the pecking order.
Paul Dummett and Achraf are two of them and in his only full game for Newcastle, Jesus Gamez played at left back against Cheltenham.
So it’s going to be very difficult for Haidara to get back in the side.
It’s likely that Rafa could even let the Frenchman leave the club this summer.
What do you think?