It has been confirmed that Jamaal Lascelles, Matt Ritchie and Jonjo Shelvey will all miss tomorrow’s Carabao Cup clash with Nottingham Forest.
Isaac Hayden is banned, Javier Manquillo is a ‘doubt’ after picking up an injury during the recent draw away to Cardiff and Jack Colback is also ineligible to play for Forest.
Rolando Aarons looks set to miss out once again as well, with him tipped to join Rangers on loan.
Benitez insists that he and Lascelles are ‘fine’, having spoken several times since news of a fallout, however it looks like he’s set for a scan to determine the extent of his ankle injury.
With these injuries in mind, it doesn’t look like many will be given a rest after Sunday’s defeat to Chelsea.
The likes of Longstaff, Atsu, Darlow and Muto look set to be given a chance, but a weakened starting 11 is not what the doctor ordered when a cup win feels pretty important after two uninspiring displays in the league.
I can see Rafa going with this:
Darlow – Yedlin, Schar, Clark, Dummett – Ki, Diame – Kenedy, Longstaff, Atsu – Muto