Rafa Benitez has confirmed that Mo Diame, Paul Dummett, Jonjo Shelvey and Karl Darlow will all miss tomorrow’s FA Cup replay against Blackburn – with Kenedy also nursing a minor injury.
Diame, Shelvey and Dummett all missed the trip to Chelsea over the weekend and it’s bad news for all three ahead of Tuesday night’s game too – with us now facing an anxious wait to see if they’ll be fit in time to play in Saturday’s relegation six pointer with Cardiff.
Shelvey is set to be ‘assessed’ before Saturday’s game as he looks to recover from a thigh injury that’s disrupted his season so far, but it’s not yet known if Diame or Dummett will be close to returning for Cardiff.
Here’s what Rafa said on the injury front:
“Shelvey, Dummett and Diame are not available. Elliot and Darlow, the same.
“Kenedy has a little problem but also was not available against Chelsea.
” I will try, with these injuries, to find a team that is strong enough to compete & win against Blackburn.”
With this in mind, coupled with the fact both Ki and Muto are also away at the Asian Cup, Rafa could be forced to field several youngsters tomorrow night.
I fully expect to see Woodman, Sterry, Joselu, Murphy, Kenedy (if fit), Manquillo, with a few U-23’s likely to be drafted in given our need to prioritise Saturday’s game with Cardiff. Roberts, Sangare, Wilson?