Date: 10th January 2019 at 8:30pm
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Newcastle United defender Ciaran Clark is in contention to start the clash with Chelsea on Saturday, according to the Chronicle.

The newspaper claim that the 29-year-old centre-back has been struggling with an ankle issue in the last month but after being back in training for 10 days, it is possible he will start at the weekend.

The Chronicle report that Clark does face competition for a starting place against the Blues as despite injury concerns in other parts of Rafa Benitez’s team, fellow central defenders Florian Lejeune, Fabian Schar, Federico Fernandez and Jamaal Lascelles are all likely available.

Clark has featured 11 times across all competitions but hasn’t featured in the Magpies’ last four matchday squads due to his ankle injury.

OPINION

If Benitez could field a team just up made of central defenders and guarantee it could do well, he’d be laughing. The Spanish manager has a ridiculously amount of depth in that area of his team compared to other positions in his side, and it’s crazy how much talent he has to choose from. It must be a difficult decision for Benitez to decide who to play at centre-back as each of his options can easily make a case for why they should start. In the case of Clark, his form has been quite impressive this season all things considered. The player is definitely not a guaranteed starter at the club but he has shone in some of his outings this season to the point where you think Benitez should reward him by giving plenty of playing time. While there was one horrendous performance against Nottingham Forest during the campaign, where he was played out of position, you do feel that Benitez can trust Clark to give his all and potentially give his side a good chance of getting a clean sheet against Chelsea.