As reported by the Chronicle, Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez has been talking up two of his defenders.
Grant Hanley and Chancel Mbemba have both received praise from the manager this week, sparking speculation that one of them may feature today, away to Wolves.
On Mbemba, Benitez said: “When he came back [from Gabon] he was a little bit stiff with a few problems,”
“But this week he has been training better.
“So the problem I have now is the competition between players.
“They are doing well, and imagine we have 27 players, just two injuries, so 25 players have to compete for just 18 places.”
Before adding of Hanley: “We signed him because we were looking for players with experience in the Championship,” Benitez said of Hanley.
“He is a great professional, good for the team spirit, and when he has had to play he has done well.
“We are happy with his contribution and hopefully he can do better between now and the end of the season.”
As Hanley has played more recently than Mbemba, it stands to reason that he would be more likely to start. However, Mbemba also has the quality to force himself into the side.