Newcastle suffer Dwight Gayle blow ahead of Preston game

Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez

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Dwight Gayle is a "big doubt" for tomorrow's game against Preston North End.

Rafa Benitez today revealed that the Newcastle United striker is battling to be fit to play at Deepdale.

Gayle is the club's leading scorer with 11 goals.

Benitez said: "Gayle is a big doubt."

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Aleksandar Mitrovic – who scored twice in Tuesday night's 6-0 EFL Cup win over Preston – could deputise.

Defender Chancel Mbemba also has a "little problem", according to United manager Benitez.

Midfielder Jack Colback – who had stitches in a head wound suffered in the cup win – will not be involved.

Meanwhile, Achraf Lazaar, Jesus Gamez, Massadio Haidara and Rob Elliot are close to a return from their respective injuries.

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