Ritchie now ready for Gunners
MATT Ritchie will be available for selection for Newcastle United’s home clash against Arsenal today.
The winger missed the 2-1 defeat against Manchester City two weeks ago because of a knee injury – a blow which also meant he missed out on international duty with Scotland.
However, Rafa Benitez could use him in the encounter with the Gunners as Premier League action returns this afternoon.
The Spaniard could also hand Jonjo Shelvey a chance after the midfielder missed the last three games with a thigh problem.
The Magpies’ boss said: “These kind of weeks are difficult because you have people coming back. Shelvey and Ritchie are in training but no big problems.
“Ritchie and Shelvey are in the squad and we will decide who plays.”
Benitez hopes Shelvey returns with a bang and tipped him for England honours, pointing to the fact Shelvey’s passing would give Gareth Southgate a different option in midfield.
He added: “I don’t see too many like Jonjo in the team. Gareth Southgate is the England manager and I am the Newcastle manager. Shelvey is my player, can he play for England? Yes.”
Looking ahead to the game with Arsenal, Benitez said: “We will try to do what we have to do to get three points.
“Unai Emery is a good manager who likes to have his teams organised.
“He is trying to find a balance in defence but keep the offensive mentality.”