Newcastle United host the champions Manchester City in a pivotal Premier League clash at St James’ Park on Tuesday evening, but they will be without one of their strikers for the contest.
The Magpies head into the match still deep in relegation trouble, and the last thing they needed was a rampant Citizens side, who need the points every bit as much of them, coming to town.
Newcastle will be looking to bounce back from their defeat to Watford in the FA Cup at the weekend, but they have seen another player added to their injury list.
Jonjo Shelvey, Mo Diame, Paul Dummett and Karl Darlow were all already injured for the Magpies, while Ki Sung-yueng is away at the Asia Cup with South Korea, and Rafael Benitez suffered more bad news when Joselu was ruled out for the visit of Pep Guardiola’s men.
The Newcastle striker sustained an ankle injury in that loss to Watford on Saturday, and has been confirmed as being out of the City match, joining the other five as missing players.
Rafael Benitez updated the situation with all of those men when he addressed the media in his usual fashion ahead of the clash with the Citizens.
“The midfielders are still very close, but not ready for this game so it’s more or less the same,” the Newcastle official website quote him as saying
“Darlow is getting better and I think he will be fine by the end of the week.
“The only one we have lost is Joselu, with a twisted ankle after a bad tackle (against Watford). It is not serious but he is not available for the game. No Shelvey, no Ki, no Diamé.”
All eyes will be on the tactics of the Newcastle boss. He has adopted an ultra-defensive style against the top sides this season, looking to frustrate them and try to nick a goal through a set piece.
It remains to be seen whether that will be the Magpies’ approach in this one, and whether it works as planned, if indeed it is.