Yesterday, we covered news that Newcastle could well be without the services of Jamaal Lascelles and Jonjo Shelvey for their trip to Selhurst Park this weekend but a tweet from Newcastle’s official account has now shown the pair both taking part in first-team training.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) September 20, 2018
Magpies captain Lascelles hobbled off during last Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat against Arsenal with an ankle issue, prompting boss Rafa Benitez to cast doubt over his readiness to play in any of Newcastle’s next three games. There is no denying his importance to the side both technically and mentally, as evidenced by the quick-fire double the Gunners scored shortly after he was replaced by Ciaran Clark.
There is a chance that Benitez was simply acting cautiously over Lascelles chances of an instant recovery, so as not to get supporters’ hopes up but with the footage above showing him playing an active role in training, it’s difficult to imagine he’ll be sat on the sidelines at 3pm tomorrow afternoon.
Jonjo Shelvey appears to be in a similar boat having been stuck on the bench for the entirety of the Toon Army’s defeat to Unai Emery’s upwardly mobile Arsenal side. Known as a key component in the North East outfit’s work in the final third of the field, Jonjo’s presence against Palace would be a huge boost for their chances of securing all three points but with no tangible update on his progress from the manager, it’s difficult to know whether or not he’ll be selected in the starting XI.
Wilfried Zaha’s wonder-strike against Huddersfield secured a massive three points for Roy Hodgson’s men last Saturday but having failed to score a single goal at home so far this season, tomorrow’s clash remains of huge importance. Should we manage to play the tie without coming up against either one of Lascelles or Shelvey it would undoubtedly make our task easier.
There’s little we can do but sit and wait.