Jamaal Lascelles went off with an illness on Saturday, which has caused doubts about his possible involvement against Barnsley. However, Rafa Benitez believes that his captain will be in contention for a starting berth on Tuesday. Chancel Mbemba and Matt Ritchie could also both be involved after missing the match against Brentford.
That is a triple boost for Newcastle and one that will increase the optimism ahead of the trip to Oakwell. The other injury concern is Daryl Murphy, who has yet to make his league debut for the Magpies, but he is unlikely to be involved on Tuesday.
The strength of the squad at Newcastle means that they can deal with injuries and still get results in the league. They were missing two of their key players on Saturday in Ritchie and Mbemba, but the team rallied and managed to get the result without them.
The Championship is a difficult division and the games come quickly, which increases the risk of niggly injuries. Benitez has tried to rotate his squad and his experience in football means that he can do that effectively. It will be a long slog this season, but the squad is strong enough and deep enough to cope.
The Newcastle away support is one of the best in the country and they have remained as committed to their side, despite relegation to the Championship. It is another sell out on Tuesday as they travel to face Barnsley and the noise that they provide has helped their team enormously over the first two months of the season. The side’s form away from home has been excellent and Dwight Gayle has told the Chronicle that the away support have played their part.
“It’s unheard of, to be honest. The support we have had this season has been fantastic. We are just trying to help and give back what we can. I am sure the fans will sell out every away game. For us, every away match feels like we are playing at home. The support we are getting is brilliant and it really is helping us along the way.”
The number nine has settled in quickly at his new club and already has a good relationship with the supporters. His comments show how important the supporters are and the positive effect they can have on the team. The supporters will be loud and proud again on Tuesday night and it would take a brave man to back against Newcastle continuing their impressive run of victories.
Finally, Karl Darlow is enjoying his personal support from Newcastle fans as they have started chanting his name regularly since he was recalled to the first team. Since the goalkeeper was recalled, the side have won three in a row and he has been made some key saves in the process.
“It’s an amazing feeling, they have been amazing since I first came here.
“I expect nothing less from them to be fair because they are excellent.
“Hopefully, they will support us all the way through the season and we will have a good campaign.”
There is a lot of competition for the goalkeeper shirt, especially now that Rob Elliot is closing in on a return from injury. Darlow is in pole position to keep the shirt after a string of good performances. The competition has to be seen as a positive for Darlow as it is pushing him to be a better goalkeeper. He is still young for a goalkeeper at 26 and now has a great opportunity to be the Newcastle number one for the foreseeable future.
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