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Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has stated that star striker Dwight Gayle can get back to his best against Wigan Athletic in the Championship on Saturday and is fully fit after the international break.

The Tyneside outfit sit on top of the standings going into the season run-in, with hope among the St James’ Park faithful that promotion will be confirmed over the next month or so.

Newcastle are in an excellent position to potentially win the Championship, or at least finish in one of the two automatic promotion berths.

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Wigan are struggling at the other end of the table and three points will be the expected return from the game by the Geordie faithful.

Benitez has stated that the international break has given a number of his Newcastle players that will carrying knocks the chance to recover, while he has hinted that Gayle should start against the Latics after returning from injury.

“We have had some players that were injured – it has been a good time for them to recover,” he told the club’s official website.

“Some of them continue with problems.

“Dwight has been training fine without any problems. I think he can go back to his form (before the injury).”

Gayle was on the bench for the 0-0 draw against Birmingham City before the international break, but is expected to start against Wigan.

The former Crystal Palace attacker has netted 21 Championship goals this season and has recently been nominated for the division’s player of the season award.