3 questions for Rafa Benitez ahead of Wolves-Newcastle

Dwight Gayle
Dwight Gayle

Rafa Benitez will face the media today ahead of Newcastle United's visit to Molineux.

The Championship leaders take on Wolverhampton Wanderers tomorrow evening in a televised game.

And Benitez will field questions ahead of the game after overseeing training this morning.

Here are three big questions for Newcastle's manager:

Is Dwight Gayle fit?

Dwight Gayle has been sidelined for almost a month with a hamstring problem.

The striker suffered the injury after scoring his 20th goal of the season in last month's win over Brentford.

Gayle has stepped up his efforts in training over the past fortnight, and Benitez revealed last week that Gayle had a chance of making his squad for Molineux.

But will Benitez – who has Daryl Murphy and Aleksandar Mitrovic available – err on the side of caution given Gayle's importance?

Is Jonjo Shelvey ready to play at a hostile Molineux?

Jonjo Shelvey is facing a hostile reception at Molineux.

The midfielder served a five-game ban after being found to have used racially-aggravated language towards Wolves player Romain Saiss in September by an independent commission.

Shelvey, outstanding for United this season, had strongly denied the charge.

Benitez will be asked about Shelvey's mindset ahead of the game.

Has Isaac Hayden recovered from injury?

Isaac Hayden was forced off against Derby County last weekend with a minor ankle problem.

The midfielder is a key figure for Benitez, who has been without Jack Colback in recent weeks.

Benitez admitted before the derby game that Hayden had been struggling with the problem.

And he will be asked about Hayden's readiness to return to the field.