Rafa Benitez sweating on the fitness of NUFC trio ahead of next Saturday’s visit of Huddersfield

Rafa Benitez is sweating on the fitness of goalkeeping duo Rob Elliot and Karl Darlow ahead of next Saturday’s clash with Huddersfield – and also faces a nervous wait to see if Islam Slimani will return from international duty without aggravating his troublesome thigh.

The goalkeeping situation seems to be the biggest concern. Whilst Martin Dubravka will keep the number one jersey (and rightly so), both back up options Darlow and Elliot may be missing next weekend.

Darlow picked up a shoulder injury during last week’s training camp (seeing him miss the Antwerp game), whilst Elliot missed out entirely due to a back problem – which has also seen him withdraw from international duty with Ireland.

With this in mind, the Chronicle have confirmed that Benitez may be forced to put 19-year-old goalkeeper Nathan Harker on the bench next Saturday – something he would prefer not to do given the youngsters total lack of senior experience.

Regarding Slimani, the Algerian was pencilled in for a return against Huddersfield in 10 days, however this will all depend on how he responds to his time away on international duty.

Rafa will be hoping he returns unscathed – especially when you consider that he’ll only be able to feature in SIX games for us this season if he misses out once again vs Huddersfield.

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at [email protected] & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Born in Gateshead, Olly was a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

2 thoughts on “Rafa Benitez sweating on the fitness of NUFC trio ahead of next Saturday’s visit of Huddersfield

  1. “Rafa Benitez sweating on the fitness of NUFC trio ahead of next Saturday’s visit of Huddersfield”

    So Rafa is sweating on the fitness of 3 players who were never expected to play, 2 of which were not even expected to be in the squad?

    Olly – for god’s sake man, get some writers for this site.

      (Quote)

  2. Rob Brown:
    “Rafa Benitez sweating on the fitness of NUFC trio ahead of next Saturday’s visit of Huddersfield”

    So Rafa is sweating on the fitness of 3 players who were never expected to play, 2 of which were not even expected to be in the squad?

    Olly – for god’s sake man, get some writers for this site.

    So you think Rafa’s happy to put Harker on the bench (a 19-year-old with no senior experience) against Huddersfield?

    I don’t mind if you have some constructive criticism, but it’s become clear to me that your comments are doing nothing but nitpick at each and every opportunity. Not appreciated.

      (Quote)

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