Rafa Benitez mulls over changes to his Newcastle side for Chelsea game

Kenedy avoided a ban for kicking out at Victor Camarasa, but the winger will still sit out Sunday's home game against Chelsea.

Friday, 24th August 2018, 9:11 am
Updated Friday, 24th August 2018, 9:15 am

The on-loan winger is ineligible to play against his parent club.

And Rafa Benitez must choose between Christian Atsu and Jacob Murphy to play on the left wing.

Atsu didn’t even make the bench for last weekend’s game against Cardiff City, though he came on against Tottenham Hotspur in the opening weekend of the season.

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Could Benitez favour left-footed Atsu?

Atsu, signed on a permanent deal from Chelsea a year ago after a successful loan, will feel he has something to prove to Chelsea, having not made a competitive appearance for the club during his four years at Stamford Bridge.

The 26-year-old, for the first time in his United career, is also playing without pain in his knee, having had successful surgery on a longstanding problem at the end of last season.

Atsu played through the pain barrier last season.

“I had to play with the injury, because it was our first season in the Premier League and I had not been in the Premier League for a long time,” said the Ghana international.

“I made a decision to be strong and to try to play and have some games in the Premier League.”

Meanwhile, defender DeAndre Yedlin – who suffered a knee injury against Tottenham and missed the Cardiff game – has been training this week and is expected to face Chelsea.

United manager Benitez must also decide whether to hand loan signing Salomon Rondon his full debut – or keep faith with Joselu.