By support

13th Apr, 2017 | 2:20pm

Rafa Benitez has this message ahead of Newcastle showdown with Leeds

By Amir Mir

Rafa Benitez is hoping that Newcastle can produce the same performance they did during the reverse fixture in November.

The Magpies will welcome Leeds to St James’ Park on Friday evening in what is expected to be a mouth-watering contest between the two sides.

In November, Benitez guided his team to a 2-0 win against the Whites at Elland Road and they will now be hoping to do the double over their rivals.

This was Benitez’s message ahead of the Friday night clash between two of the Championships biggest teams.

“We did well against Leeds in the first game,” said Benitez as posted by the club’s official Twitter account. “Hopefully, we can play at the level we know we can.”

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Three points for the home team will edge them closer to the Premier League, while their opponents are also closing in on a play-off place.

Newcastle go into this match having suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Sheffield Wednesday last time out.

By contrast, Garry Monk’s side comfortably beat Preston North End 3-0 on home soil, but this match will prove to be a tougher test.

Leeds have not kept a clean sheet on the road since their 1-0 win at Wolves in October as Monk will be hoping his star man, Chris Wood will produce the goods once again.

The New Zealand international has been a key figure behind the club’s success during this campaign, playing 39 league matches and scoring 24 goals.

The positive for the Magpies will be that he has not found the back of the net in his last three matches and last scored away from home in early March.

In other Newcastle news, the club have been dealt a major blow as Rafa Benitez has confirmed this key man will miss the next two games. 

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