Injury-hit Rafa Benitez left counting the cost of a gruelling few weeks at Newcastle

Jamaal Lascelles.
Jamaal Lascelles.

Rafa Benitez will ring the changes at the Cardiff City Stadium tonight.

Benitez will be without half a dozen senior players for promoted Newcastle United’s penultimate game of the season.

In terms of injuries, we have had some players playing with problems.

Rafa Benitez

Captain Jamaal Lascelles will sit out the Championship game along with Grant Hanley, Vurnon Anita and Jesus Gamez.

Matt Ritchie will serve a two-game ban after admitting a Football Association misconduct charge relating to an incident in the tunnel after the Leeds United game.

“In terms of injuries, we have had some players playing with problems,” said United manager Benitez.
“They will not be in the squad.”

Leading scorer Dwight Gayle also remains sidelined with a hamstring problem.

Benitez hopes to have some players back for the club’s final game of the season against Barnsley at St James’s Park on May 7.

United are looking to claim a club-record 14th away win of the season against 13th-placed Cardiff City.

Newcastle secured promotion to the Premier League with a 4-1 win over Preston North End on Monday night.

On the Cardiff game, Benitez said: “It is very competitive.”

Benitez said it was “business as usual” on the training ground on Wednesday when there was a HMRC raid on St James’s Park and the club’s Benton HQ.

“We are trying to do things business as usual,” said Benitez.

Meanwhile, Cardiff manager Neil Warnock said: “It will be a good crowd and the Geordies will be coming to celebrate. Hopefully, we can put one over on them.”