Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez has issued an update on the fitness of Federico Fernandez, Ciaran Clark, Paul Dummett and Jonjo Shelvey ahead of the clash against Chelsea on Saturday.
Fernandez – who missed the last game through injury – has been passed fit for this weekend’s action alongside fellow centre-back Clark, however, Dummett and Shelvey are set to be sidelined for the match at Stamford Bridge, as relayed by Chronicle reporter Lee Ryder on his personal Twitter account.
Fernandez and Clark passed fit for Chelsea trip, Shelvey and Dummett ruled out. #nufc
— Lee Ryder (@lee_ryder) January 11, 2019
Shelvey has been suffering with a thigh injury and he is set to visit specialists in Barcelona, according to the Chronicle.
Federico Fernandez being deemed fit enough to be in contention for this match will no doubt be a major boost for Benitez. He is arguably one of their best centre-backs after signing from Swansea in the summer, so the fact he could make the starting XI against an attacking Chelsea side is just the news the fans would have been wanting to hear. However, that will not be good news for the likes of Jamaal Lascelles or Florian Lejeune, as the first teamer’s return likely means that they will not start on Saturday. Dummett is a huge blow for Benitez however, and it remains to be seen how long he will be out for. Newcastle faced a small crisis the last time he was sidelined – and now that he is absent once again, Javier Manquillo will likely take his place at left-back. Midfield seems to be the worst hit seeing as Shelvey is ruled out and Ki Sing-Yeung is away at the Asian Cup, so Newcastle will have to be incredibly careful playing against a Chelsea side with formidable talent in this position.