Rafa Benitez gives positive injury update at Newcastle ahead of Man City game

Mikel Merino, left, and Florian Lejeune
Mikel Merino, left, and Florian Lejeune

Rafa Benitez hopes to welcome back two players from injury for Manchester City's visit to St James's Park.

Mikel Merino, Isaac Hayden and Florian Lejeune missed Newwcastle United's 3-2 win over West Ham United on Saturday along with the suspended Jonjo Shelvey.

Shelvey returns against the Premier League leaders tomorrow night, having served a two-game ban.

READ MORE: Rafa Benitez names the player who stood tall for Newcastle against West Ham

And Benitez also hopes to have midfield pair Merino and Hayden for the Boxing Day fixture.

However, United's manager could have a decision to make for the game, as Henri Saivet and Mohamed Diame, handed starts with Merino and Hayden unavailable, both scored at the London Stadium.

"I think that Merino and Hayden will have a chance for Man City, because it was little problems, so they weren't fully fit for West Ham," said Benitez.

Defender Lejeune is not expected to be fit to face Man City.

Benitez added: "Lejeune? It will be more difficult. Merino and Hayden, we'll see. Maybe."

Benitez will also be without Aleksandar Mitrovic (back) and Jesus Gamez (ankle).