Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has confirmed that three of his senior stars are in contention to return to the matchday squad when the Magpies host Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on Sunday.

The north-east outfit were able to grind out a 1-1 draw away at Everton in midweek, despite being without key wingers Matt Ritchie and Kenedy.

However, speaking to the press in advance of the visit of Wolves, Benitez confirmed that the duo had since been back in training and were likely to be available, although defender Fabian Schar misses out through suspension.

“Kenedy’s fine – he was training today. He had a problem with his nail but he is OK,” the Spaniard is quoted as saying by the club’s official website.

“Today, he has been training. He has been with the physios and doctor, and everybody has been working really hard trying to keep him fit.

“Hopefully he can train again tomorrow and then he will be available.

“We have lost Schar, but we have Ritchie back, and the rest of the players.”

Elsewhere, Newcastle-born Paul Dummett returns from the hamstring problem he picked up whilst on international duty with Wales at the beginning of last month.

Benitez’s men impressed in earning a point at Goodison Park on Wednesday, with Salomon Rondon netting his third league goal of the season early on only for Richarlison to reply for the hosts before the break.

The Venezuelan looks to be coming into form for Newcastle after a tricky start to life on Tyneside and will doubtless be key to the Toon Army’s prospects of pulling away from the relegation zone over the remainder of the campaign.

The clash with Wolves marks the start of a run of three winnable games, with matches against Huddersfield Town and Fulham to come before Christmas.

After that, Newcastle must prepare themselves for a tricky fixture list that sees them take on Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and champions Manchester City before the end of January.


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