Newcastle appear to have been handed an injury boost in the shape of Matt Ritchie.
The winger has been pictured training with the first-team ahead of the game against Arsenal, having missed the defeat to Manchester City.
Should Ritchie start?
Newcastle always lack some intensity when Ritchie doesn’t play.
The Scotland international is the man who sets the tempo for the Magpies, with his infectious energy and desire to play on the front foot.
If he’s fit, then he has to play against the Gunners. Rafa Benitez has confirmed that the midfielder will be in the squad this weekend, as reported by the Chronicle.
Ritchie was brilliant when we last entertained Arsenal, bagging the winner in a 2-1 triumph.
However, Ritchie appears to still has some sort of strapping on the knee that kept him out of action.
If he’s not 100%, then it isn’t worth the risk. Jonjo Shelvey is apparently still playing through the pain barrier, and we can’t afford to possibly lose two of our most influential players.
If Ritchie isn’t fit enough to start, it’ll be down to someone like Jacob Murphy to fill in. The youngster is yet to really get going in Newcastle colours, but we’ve often seen flashes of his undoubted potential.
Despite his potential though, most Newcastle fans will be praying that their number 11 is the one who starts.