Newcastle resumed their training today after three days off following their excellent win 1-0 at Huddersfield.
We could do with another clean sheet on Saturday when we face bottom-of-the-table Fulham at home.
But no game is easy in the Premier League, and no game is easy for Newcastle in general, so this is expected to be a tough match for the lads.
But if we can win this game – two successive wins just before Christmas – will undoubtedly raise the spirits of Newcastle supporters everywhere.
And it looks like Federico Fernandez has recovered from the calf injury he picked up against Wolves as he was shown in training today.
Federico Fernandez – shown training today
We don’t know what formation Rafa will use against Fulham, but their defense seems the weakness, having conceded 42 goals in 17 games this season.
Rafa will have almost all five center-backs fit again with Lejeune just waiting for his chance back in the first team.
Lascelles was also shown with a cast on his left hand, but we expect he will be fit to play on Saturday.
Jamaal Lascelles – shown with a cast on left-hand today arriving for training
Clark, Dummett, Manquillo and Fabian Schar are also fit to play in the back line and Yedlin is now available having served his one-match ban for being sent off against Wolves.
So Rafa has some choices in defense and we’ll have to see what the defensive formation will be for the Fulham game.
Muto has also not played much for Newcastle recently and he will be off to the Asian Cup to represent Japan and will depart probably after the game at Liverpool on Boxing Day.
Maybe he will get a runout before he leaves for about a month away from Tyneside – depending on how well Japan fare in the Cup.
Ki will also be missing as he’s off to represent South Korea in the Asian Cup.
So we don’t seem to have many injury problems with at least eight games to play by the end of January.