Mikel Merino blow for Newcastle after Burnley defeat

Mikel Merino's set to miss Bournemouth's visit to St James's Park.

Monday, 30th October 2017, 9:55 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 7:56 am
Mikel Merino

The Newcastle United midfielder missed last night’s 1-0 defeat to Burnley at Turf Moor with a back problem.

And manager Rafa Benitez doesn’t expect to have Merino back for Saturday’s home game against Eddie Howe’s side.

Merino will see a specialist this week.

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Asked about Merino, United manager Benitez said: “We have to wait to see.

“He’ll see a specialist and we’ll see how he feels.

“We’ll see what the specialist says after a couple of days to see we have the right decision.”

Merino, signed on a permanent deal from Borussia Dortmund earlier this month, had scored Newcastle’s winner against Crystal Palace nine days earlier.

Benitez made one change to his starting XI for the Burnley game.

Midfielder Mohamed Diame replaced Isaac Hayden in his team.

Hayden had been troubled by a minor problem in he build-up to the Premier League game, which was decided by a 74th-minute goal from Jeff Hendrick.