Rafa Benitez and Newcastle fans were thankful that Islam Slimani did not play for Algeria against Tanzania with Algeria easily winning 4-1.
Even though Slimani has not played for Newcastle since signing on loan back on January 31st from Leicester City, he is still in the Algerian squad and joined up with them earlier this week.
Algeria have another friendly on Tuesday against Iran in Austria so it is possible he could play in that game – but we doubt that will happen.
We are hoping that Slimani will be fit for our crucial six-pointer against Huddersfield a week on Saturday.
Islam Slimani – didn’t play against Tanzania
And our new on-loan goalkeeper Martin Dubravka picked up another cap for Slovakia in their 2-1 win over the United Arab Emirates in Thailand.
Rafa will be looking at each game a Newcastle player is involved in over the next several days and hoping we don’t pick up any injuries in these friendly games, which are warm-ups for the World Cup in Russia this summer.
If we can beat Huddersfield at home on March 31st, we will be in an excellent position on 35 points from 31 games, and that’s 10 points better off than we were two years ago.
Newcastle would need only 5 points from our last 7 games to be absolutely safe on 40 points.
What do you think?