Newcastle take on Arsenal this weekend and Rafa Benitez had been handed a double injury boost in the form of Matt Ritchie and Jonjo Shelvey.
Jonjo Shelvey & Matt Ritchie both back for Newcastle. Other than Florian Lejeune, Rafa Benitez has a full squad for the visit of Arsenal.
— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) September 14, 2018
Ritchie & Shelvey return
Speaking to NUFC.co.uk about returning players Benitez stated:
“These kind of weeks are very difficult, because we have players coming back (from international duty) so you have to check everyone and how they feel.
“We have Shelvey and Ritchie training, so no big issue – everyone was training. We have to decide now who can play and who cannot.
“But both Ritchie and Shelvey are in the squad.”
Benitez also believes that the returning Shelvey should be in Gareth Southgate’s England plans.
“He has the quality, he has the vision and he can make those passes that the strikers like behind the defenders, and things like that.
“But especially because in a team, in a squad, you have to have different kind of players. I don’t see too many like Jonjo in the team.
“Southgate is the manager, he has to decide. I am the manager of Newcastle United and Shelvey is my player. Can he play for England? Yes. That’s it.”
Newcastle vs Arsenal
Newcastle go into the game with Arsenal 18th in the table and with just one point from four Premier League games.
Newcastle started the season be losing 2-1 to Tottenham in a game they perhaps could have got more out of.
They then drew 0-0 with Cardiff after Kenedy missed a late penalty.
Newcastle then faced two tough games against Manchester City and Chelsea.
The Magpies lost both of those games 2-1 and were actually quite unlucky to get nothing from either game.
Arsenal do seem to be picking up steam under Unai Emery, but Newcastle will be by no means an easy game for the Gunners.