Rafa Benitez reveals why he's uneasy about the next fortnight at Newcastle

Rafa Benitez is braced for a uncomfortable fortnight at Newcastle United.

Seven senior players have gone on international duty.

And Benitez can only wait and hope that they return to Tyneside unscathed ahead of the club's March 31 home game against Huddersfield Town.

Islam Slimani, DeAndre Yedlin, Martin Dubravka, Matt Ritchie, Ciaran Clark, Chancel Mbemba and Mikel Merino are away with their respective countries.

Slimani is expected to play for Algeria even though he was not considered for yesterday's friendly against Royal Antwerp in Spain.

United manager Benitez said: "It's the worst thing for us, because you have to keep an eye all the time, checking everyone, and then after every game if they are fine or played or didn't play.

Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez

"When they've finished it's still if they will come back in time or will come back tired.

"Again I will say we have some experience on that. We cannot change anything. We are aware of everything, and that's it.

"You need to talk with the medical staff or coaches, you can try, but some of them are so far away that it's impossible to have any control."

Newcastle drew 1-1 with Antwerp at the Pinatar Arena.

The friendly, played over 135 minutes, was arranged to fill a 21-day break in the club's Premier League fixture list.