Rafa Benitez puts Islam Slimani on standby for his Newcastle debut after Joselu blow

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Islam Slimani's set to make his Newcastle United debut against Huddersfield Town.

The striker, signed on loan from Leicester City in January, has been sidelined with a thigh problem up to now.

However, Slimani came off the bench for Algeria during the international break.

And United manager Rafa Benitez has added him to his squad for tomorrow's home game.

Winger Matt Ritchie has recovered from the groin injury which forced him to withdraw from the Scotland squad, but Benitez will be without Joselu, who has an ankle problem which will sideline him for at least a week.

“Ritchie had a little problem," said Benitez. "We were doing a test and he was fine. He's been training.

"Slimani's the same. We had a plan. The medical staff were talking about it, the plan was that he had to progress.

"We tested him in Spain, and he was not ready, but he was following the plan and in the end the idea that he could play some minutes in the second game (for Algeria) was good for everyone. He'll be in the squad.

"The only one with a problem is Joselu. He twisted his ankle the other day, I think he'll be out for one week. He's already working."