Early Newcastle team news: Benitez confirms attacker will return v Sheffield Wednesday
By Matt Farr
Rafa Benitez has confirmed Aleksandar Mitrovic will return to the Newcastle squad for their visit to Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship on Saturday.
The 22-year-old striker has not featured in any of Newcastle’s last seven league games, and was omitted from the matchday squad to face Burton on Wednesday.
However, the Newcastle chief has confirmed that he will be back in the contention for a place in the side against their promotion rivals at the weekend.
He told the Chronicle: “Mitrovic is in the squad, and also Murphy. Gayle too, so we have three strikers.”
The revelation will delight Newcastle fans as it means they will have all three of their main goalscorers at their disposal for the upcoming tie.
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Gayle has been the Magpies’ lead hitman this season, scoring 22 goals from 30 Championship appearances, but Mitrovic has struggled.
The Serbia international has hit the back of the net on just four occasions in the league this season, having made 19 appearances.
Gayle’s red hot form has seen him play only a bit part role for much of the campaign, earning only eight Championship starts, but when handed an opportunity, he has failed to take it.
But he could be given a chance by Benitez to score his first goal for the club since the win over Wolves on February 11.
Experienced Championship striker Daryl Murphy will also be named in the squad, having played just one minute of league football in their last two matches.
Newcastle can regain their place at the top of the Championship table with a win over Sheffield Wednesday, who are sixth.
In other Newcastle team news, Benitez has delivered a fitness update on two important players ahead of the Sheffield Wednesday clash.