Newcastle fans might get their first glimpse of striker Islam Slimani at St James’ Park on Saturday afternoon.

The Leicester striker hasn’t been able to play for Rafa Benitez’s side since his January loan move after arriving with a knock.

He made his return on the international stage as he played 25 minutes for Algeria in their 2-1 defeat against Iran on Tuesday night, picking up a yellow card almost as soon as he was introduced.

However, Mark Douglas, Newcastle United editor for the Chronicle, does not believe he will start the game.

In fact he goes as far as to say there is “no way he starts” as it’s not Benitez’s style.

He claims Benitez has been pleased with Dwight Gayle’s performances in recent weeks and says that Slimani could start from the bench.

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Football Insider verdict:

This makes total sense. Slimani won’t be put straight into the cauldron of a Premier League game at St James’ Park after months out. The game is an easily winnable one for Newcastle, and if he’s introduced from the bench it could be a dream start for Slimani. Some fans had given up hope of seeing him in a Newcastle shirt, but that looks like it could all change on Saturday. Can he make himself a hero in the few games that are left this season?

In other Newcastle news, ‘Terrible news’, ‘Nightmare’ – Newcastle fans gutted after official player update

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