By Russell Edge
Newcastle United will be without striker Dwight Gayle for their clash with Crystal Palace after manager Rafael Benitez confirmed he is suffering with a calf injury.
The Magpies will play host to the Eagles on Saturday as they look to improve from ninth place in the Premier League table, with Roy Hodgson’s side looking to push off the bottom of the table after their shocking start to the season.
The former England manager saw his side score their first goals and pick up their first win of the season last weekend with a surprise victory over Chelsea at Selhurst Park, but the result still left them last, a point behind 19th placed Bournemouth.
Newcastle meanwhile come into the match off the back of a 2-2 draw with Southampton, as they allowed the Saints to snatch a point having twice taken the lead at St Mary’s.
However they will face off against Palace without former Eagle Dwight Gayle, who Benitez revealed will be missing thanks to a calf injury picked up on the south coast.
Speaking to the media, as quoted by the club’s official Twitter account, he said: “Gayle has had a little problem with his calf and is not ready for this game.”
RB: “Haïdara has been training. Still we have Dummett out. Gayle has had a little problem with his calf and is not ready for this game.”
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) October 20, 2017
However he did reveal that long term absentee Massadio Haidara was back in training, although Paul Dummett is still out of action.
Gayle has appeared in all but one of the club’s league matches this season but despite having been the top scorer last season, he is yet to get off the mark during the current campaign.
His absence leaves Benitez severely depleted in terms of his striking options, with regular starter Joselu joined by out of favour forward Aleksandar Mitrovic as the only senior strikers available.
In other Newcastle United news, a Russian billionaire has registered interest in taking over the Magpies.