Rafa Benitez has admitted that Christian Atsu and Paul Dummett are likely to return from a spell on the sidelines for Saturday’s visit of Leicester – also revealing that Jamaal Lascelles is ‘better’, but a late decision will be made on him later this week.
The trio have been missing during our recent slump and having them back could be the boost we need after losing 5 and drawing one of our last six league games.
Here’s what Rafa’s had the say about each of them ahead of Saturday’s visit of Leicester to St James’ Park:
“We will see this week. Atsu was very close, Dummett was very close, Jamaal was better but we will see how he feels during the week.
“They are closer but we will see on Tuesday how they feel. They are getting better.”
Rafa is typically cautious, being one who often likes to keep his cards close to his chest, however The Chronicle state that Atsu and Dummett are expected to return, whilst NUFC are waiting to see if Lascelles comes through the week ok before deciding whether he’ll be ready.
Given our recent struggles, the return of all three would be a huge boost – especially Dummett and Lascelles.
We’ve been making several school-boy errors in recent weeks, and you get the feeling the solid, no-nonsense pair would add some much needed steel back to our defence – with Lascelles’ leadership and communication having been sorely missed since he hobbled off against Bournemouth last month.
Good news – hopefully all three can give us a much needed boost ahead of Saturday’s big game against an in-form Leicester side.