Rafa Benitez has expanded on what exactly is wrong with top scorer Dwight Gayle and he felt his hamstring in training last week and Rafa will not take any chances with the player who has already scored 11 Championship goals for Newcastle this season.
Danny Murphy is still not available and is still struggling with a calf injury, so it’s almost certain that Aleksandar Mitrovic will play up front with Ayoze Perez likely to be given a start as the laid back striker in the number 10 role.
Dwight Gayle missing today
It seems in the past Gayle has had a number of hamstring problems so it’s almost certain that Rafa Benitez will not risk him against Preston today in what is expected to be another very tough game in the Championship.
This is what Benitez has said about the former Crystal Palace striker:
“He’s a big doubt.” “He felt his hamstring a little bit. We don’t want to take the risk, especially with Mitrovic scoring goals.”
“We have Ayoze Perez and Mitro. Murphy is still not available.” “If Gayle cannot play, he will not travel.”
“You have to adapt a little, but against Queens Park Rangers we did well with Mitro up front,”
“You have to adapt a little, but against Queens Park Rangers we did well with Mitro up front.”
“It’s not that we need to change too many things, but it will be a big difference in terms of playing in behind the defenders.”
“He will be unlikely to run behind like Gayle.” “Maybe he will become more of a target man for us instead.”
“He was working very hard the other day, even with his runs, so I think it will be more or less similar in terms of how we play.”
“But a difference could be the other team.” “It will be a tough game, because they will be pushing and pressing all the time.”
“Our game has to be similar – not exactly the same, but similar.”
But we played Mitrovic up front against Preston so the lads will presumably not need to adapt too much with Gayle missing the game today.
It’s a big opportunity for Mitro to show his heading dominance and general hold-up play and the first goal he scored on Tuesday night from a beautifully flighted Matt Ritchie free kick caught the Preston defense asleep.
So the 22 year-old Serbian striker could be a real threat in the air today for Newcastle.
We need to win this game.