Ritchie now ready for Gun­ners

The Chronicle - - Nufc -

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.”

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