Some good news for Rafa Benitez’ news conference for the game tomorrow at Chelsea – all three injured players – Paul Dummett, Jamaal Lascelles, and Christian Atsu are all close to being fit.
That’s important because when they do return we will have no injuries and Rafa will have a full squad to choose from for the 7 games we have after the Chelsea game through January 1st – that’s 7 games in 22 days.
They are also important games for Newcastle coming up because by the time the January transfer window opens hopefully we will remain in mid-table or even higher?
From what Rafa says some could even have been available for tomorrow’s game at a push, but no need to take any chances.
Jamaal Lascelles – close to being fit again
Here’s some of what Rafa said in his press conference today:
“We have very good competition with strikers and I am pleased with it.”
“I like to rotate. It depends on your team and if they understand what they have to do.”
The normal fans in the street are fine. The rivalry is because of Liverpool and Chelsea.”
“We qualified for the Champions League and won the Europa League, the majority of them are fine.”
“After West Brom (on Tuesday night) there were a lot of positives and confidence is high.”
“It was a great way to show character and togetherness of the team.”
“I was talking to Atsu, Lascelles, and Dummett, and they are very close (to being fit).”
“But we didn’t take them for this game because the other players were doing well and it makes no sense to take any risks.”
As far as the injuries have been this season, there have not been too many, and we have been in the lower half of the Physioroom.com Injury Table.
That’s a table that in previous seasons we were always at the very top right through the season.
So that’s good news and entirely due to the experience and skill of Rafa Benitez.
Here are the upcoming games for us – and there are some tough ones in there through the beginning of next year.
Date Fixture KO time
Sat 2 Dec Chelsea vs Newcastle 12:30 Sat 9 Dec Newcastle vs Leicester 17:30 Wed 13 Dec Newcastle vs Everton 19:45 Sat 16 Dec Arsenal vs Newcastle 15:00 Sat 23 Dec West Ham vs Newcastle 15:00 Wed 27 Dec Newcastle vs Man City 19:45 Sat 30 Dec Newcastle vs Brighton 15:00 Mon 1 Jan Stoke vs Newcastle 15:00