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Rafa Benitez delivers critical verdict of Hull ahead of Newcastle clash

By Amir Mir

Rafa Benitez has slammed Hull for not giving Newcastle away supporters more tickets for their EFL Cup clash at the KCOM Stadium on Tuesday night.

The Championship leaders travel to Yorkshire to take on the Premier League outfit with a place in the semi-finals of the League Cup up for grabs.

The Magpies have been allocated 2,400 tickets for the away cup fixture, with only 13,000 spectators expected in a 25,000 seater stadium.

Despite a low number of home fans expected to turn up, Newcastle have not been awarded more tickets for the midweek fixture.

Former Premier League manager Benitez has questioned their opponents for not supplying more tickets for the travelling Toon Army supporters.

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“I’d like to see as many of our fans as possible,” said Benitez, as quoted by the Guardian. “Why would you have empty stadiums when you could fill them with people who would enjoy themselves?

“The good thing is it’s not normal here but in Spain you see stadiums half empty and in Italy sometimes they’re only 20 per cent occupied.”

Going into this game the Magpies are flying high in the second tier as they are well on course for a return to the top flight of English football.

However, their opponents are struggling in the relegation zone following promotion from the Championship last season.

Benitez’ side lost their previous fixture 1-0 to Blackburn on home soil, while Hull recorded a stalemate against West Brom.

Phelan’s side have conceded a league high of 28 goals and lost eight in 13 games this term, while Benitez’ men have won 13 out of a possible 18 fixtures in the Championship.

In other Newcastle team news, these three players will be key if Rafa Benitez’ side are to progress in the EFL Cup.