Newcastle United briefing: Aleksandar Mitrovic returns for Liverpool, Tomer Hemed facing ban

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Newcastle United's three-game winning run came to an end at the Amex Stadium yesterday.

A goal from Tomer Hemed gave Brighton and Hove Albion a 1-0 win.

The result saw Newcastle end the weekend seventh in the Premier League after three wins and three defeats from their first six games.

Rafa Benitez and his players are now focused on Sunday's home game against Liverpool.

Here's your daily briefing:

Fired up

Tomer Hemed

Tomer Hemed

Benitez will have Aleksandar Mitrovic available to face Liverpool.

The striker has now served a three-game ban for elbowing West Ham United's Manuel Lanzini late last month.

And United's manager has reacted to the return of Mitrovic.

Stamp duty

Hemed didn't just put the ball in the net.

The striker also stamped on United defender DeAndre Yedlin late in the game. Hemed claimed he did it "by accident".

Yedlin, however, wasn't so sure, and he spoke about the incident after the match.

Hemed could yet be handed a retrospective three-game ban for the stamp, which wasn't seen by referee Andre Marriner.

Newcastle midfielder Jonjo Shelvey was sent off for stamping on Dele Alli in the club's season-opener against Tottenham Hotspur.

Missed opportunity

Benitez, meanwhile, was more concerned about the chances that went begging in his post-match press conference.

“We gave them some chances, and we had some chances of our own as well," said Benitez. "We finished the game very strongly, creating a lot of chances.

“We had chances but didn’t take them. There was a chance for Joselu in the first half, and then in the second half we had three or four good positions where we should have done better.

“We have to learn from this defeat. In the Premier League, you have to take your chances when they come along.

“You have to take your chances, and you also have to be stronger in defence if you want to make sure that you will have a clean sheet.”

Benitez also spoke about the possibility of Jonjo Shelvey starting a game alongside Mikel Merino.

And finally...

There was speculation ahead of the Brighton match that owner Mike Ashley, looking to sell United, had dropped his asking price.

However, the club, we understand, is proving a hard sell.