After two weeks of thrill-a-minute international fixtures, boring old club football has returned. Newcastle travel to Elland Road with a strong compliment of support to take on a Leeds team that have been revitalised under Garry Monk. The Yorkshire team sit just outside the play off places and will be looking to claim their biggest scalp of the season so far while Newcastle will be hoping to further increase the gap between them and the chasing pack.
This fixture has produced some crackers in previous years, a 4-3 in 2001 with goals from Bellamy, Shearer, Elliott and Solano was a particular highlight. Historically Newcastle only just have the edge over Leeds having won 38 games to Leeds’ 37 and go into this match looking to extend an 8 game winning streak and match a record set in 1994.
Leeds are unbeaten in 5 and manager Garry Monk has never lost against Newcastle in his capacity as a manager.
The game will have special significance as both sets of fans plan to pay tribute to the late, great Gary Speed who died 5 years ago.
On international duty, Aleksander Mitrovic scored as Serbia rescued a point against Wales. Meanwhile Grant Hanley and Matt Ritchie suffered a loss against the best international side in footballing history. Hanley in particular came in for some strong criticism for his performance. Elsewhere Adam Armstong netted a hattrick for the England U-20s against Nigeria.
Perpetually injured Rolando Aarons is yet again injured and will now be out for the rest of the season. Jonjo Shelvey will be available after pleading not guilty to a charge of racial abuse towards Wolves player Roman Saiss however it is unclear whether Benitez will pick him. Matt Ritchie is once again available for selection after serving a one match ban.
It is unclear whether Dwight Gayle, who was involved in an unsavoury incident on a night out, will make the squad
Jesus Gamez, Achraf Lazaar, Rob Elliot, Massadio Haidara and Daryl Murphy are all still doubts however all have been in training recently.
Ireland international Eunan O’Kane is a doubt for Leeds as is former Sunderland midfielder Liam Bridcutt.
Ref: Graham Scott – He’s probably s***, they usually are.
UK TV: Live on Sky Sports
beIN Sports 2 Australia/New Zealand
beIN Sports 11
Digi Sport 1 (Cz/Svk) +HD
Eleven HD (Belgium)
Eleven Sports Singapore
Eurosport 2 Russia
Fox Sports 2 Africa
SportKlub 1 (Serbia) +HD
SportsMax 2 (West Indies)
SuperSport 5 Africa
Viasat Sport Premium (Sweden)
Viasat Urheilu (Finland) HD
UK Radio: None
Local Radio: Live on BBC Radio Newcastle (available worldwide via NUFC TV club subscription service).
A tough game ahead, discussion thread is here.
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