With Rondon and Shelvey failing to make it off the bench and Lascelles coming off at half time against Arsenal last weekend, this is a huge boost ahead of tomorrow’s game.
It’s hard to second guess Rafa, so it’s hard to say with complete certainty that all three will start, but Benitez’s update today suggests to me that they’re all ready for action.
Here’s what he’s said when speaking to the press in the last few moments:
“We are looking quite good. Just Lejeune who is a long-term injury. Everyone else is available.
“Shelvey wanted to play last week but we needed to be careful. Everybody is fine & ready for this one.
“Lascelles missed some training but he is fine now.
“He was complaining about his ankle. He missed a couple of training sessions, but he has trained the last couple of days – he is fine.”
With this in mind, could this be our team tomorrow – (4-2-3-1) Dubravka – Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Dummet – Diame, Shelvey – Ritchie, Perez, Kenedy – Rondon?
Rafa still has some decision to make – with some tipping Muto and Murphy to start – but I get the feeling we’ll see our strongest side of the season start tomorrow.