Rafa Benitez has confirmed that Kenedy and Paul Dummett should be fit to return for Sunday’s game with Wolves – and while Matt Ritchie is back from a ban, Fabian Schar will miss out after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season at Everton.
Losing Schar is a shame given how good he’s been at the back – with his ball playing ability being a huge help when we’re looking to get on the front foot at home – however it would be a huge boost to have Kenedy and Dummett back.
Here’s what Rafa’s had to say about the left-sided duo – all but confirming that both will return if they have no issues in training tomorrow:
“Kenedy is fine, he has been training. Hopefully he can train tomorrow and then he will be available.
“If Dummett trains tomorrow without any problem, he is another option”.
“Both have been training today. So, hopefully, they’ll be fine for the game.
“After (training tomorrow), we have to decide about the match fitness of Paul.”
Atsu did pretty well in Kenedy’s absence at Everton, but having Dummett back will be a huge boost from a defensive perspective – with Manquillo rarely looking comfortable at left-back.
It’s also worth mentioning that Muto was pictured in the training pictures today, so he could be back in the squad.
Rafa also responded to the Magpie Group’s decision to cancel the boycott – stating that it is ‘crucial’ that everyone is behind the team on Sunday:
“The main thing for me is the fans behind the team, that is crucial for us.”
“We need everyone behind the team”
“I understood the idea (of the planned boycott) but, also, I said this group of players deserve support from the fans.
“They HAVE had support from the fans but, if everybody now is behind the team, it will be crucial for us.”
Big game on Sunday, and this team news is predominantly positive – even if Schar’s passing from the back could be a big miss.