Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has revealed that fringe duo Aleksandar Mitrovic and Jesus Gamez will miss out while Isaac Hayden is a doubt for the club’s clash with Brighton on Saturday.
The Magpies slipped to a narrow 1-0 defeat at home to runaway league leaders Manchester City, who clocked up their 18th consecutive Premier league win to establish a 15 point gap at the top of the table.
Defeat meant that Newcastle have managed to win just one of their last 11 games, in last week’s 3-2 victory over West Ham, having managed to put a stop to a nine game winless streak which had garnered just one point from a possible 27.
However, the home clash against City saw Benitez make five changes to his starting XI, resting several of the club’s regular starters, and revealed after the game that he was having to manage a handful of injury blows which were limiting his options.
As quoted on the personal Twitter account of injury data analyst Ben Dinnery, who works for the likes of Sky Sports and ESPN, he said: “[Aleksandar] Mitrovic no, [Jesus] Gamez no. I think that maybe Hayden will have a chance.”
Isaac Hayden "maybe" has a chance of returning for the Brighton game but Lejeune [foot] will miss out again this weekend following a kick to the foot in training. “[Aleksandar] Mitrovic no, [Jesus] Gamez no. I think that maybe Hayden will have a chance." #NUFC
— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) December 28, 2017
Both Mitrovic and Gamez have been very much on the fringes of the first team squad this season, although midfield enforcer Hayden has been a more frequent figure in the starting line up, with 16 appearances and 13 starts in the club’s league games this season.
Newcastle host the Seagulls at St James’ Park on Saturday, with Chris Hughton and his side sitting three points and four places above the Magpies.
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