Newcastle United will visit Old Trafford on Saturday evening when they face Manchester United in the Premier League – and will have to do without two of their key stars for the trip.
The Magpies will be looking to bounce back from two successive defeats before the international break, with both Burnley and AFC Bournemouth securing wins against Rafa Benitez’s side.
The match will have certainly prove to be a tough contest for the men in black-and-white, as the Red Devils have not been beaten at home so far this season, and Jose Mourinho’s team will be looking to get back to winning ways themselves, following a 1-0 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Benitez will be well aware that the Premier League giants will be fired up for the tie, and he will be looking for his Newcastle team to be free of mistakes, as well as being as organised as possible, however, that could be difficult with the players out.
Jamaal Lascelles and Christian Atsu, who both started the last match against Bournemouth, are both out of the trip with injuries that are expected to keep them out for at least a few weeks.
“Lascelles and Atsu will not be available tomorrow,” Benitez confirmed to the club’s official website.
“Atsu will be out for at least a couple of weeks. We will see how he is progressing because he will be having treatment. We will see how Jamaal feels next week and maybe he will be closer.”
The Newcastle skipper’s absence will certainly be missed, as he has proved to be the crucial difference at both ends of the field for the Magpies this season, scoring and blocking match-winning goals in a number of matches.
Benitez also confirmed that Mikel Merino and Paul Dummett have been stepping up their recoveries from injuries well and is hopeful they will both be able to start training in the near future.
“Dummett is training with the team. He is getting closer,” he added.
“Merino has been training with one member of our staff in Spain and will come back either today or tomorrow, so he will be around and hopefully he can start training without pain.”