Why Rafa Benitez believes Barnsley are a 'dangerous' opponent for Newcastle

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Newcastle United have been on the back foot a lot away from home this season.

They've had to defend deep, and in numbers, against a few teams, notably Bristol City and Rotherham United.

The exception, of course, was Queens Park Rangers, convincingly beaten 6-0 at Loftus Road last month.

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But teams haven't been able to turn their possession into many clearcut chances.

Newcastle manager Benitez, however, knows Barnsley, the Championship's third-top scorers, are quite capable of scoring goals.

"For me, Barnsley is not a game where we look at say 'it's easy'," said Benitez.

"Far from it, in fact the opposite. It's a team that goes forward, score goals and play with a high intensity. It's a very difficult game and we have to make sure that we pick the players who can play this game and concentrate and focus.

"We have to make sure we pick players who will play the way that we need them to play.

"These games are very dangerous."

United have only score two more goals than Paul Heckingbottom's side, who will be without United loanee Adam Armstrong.

Striker Sam Winnall scored against Fulham at the weekend, and wide players Ryan Kent and Adam Hammill are capable of creating goals out of nothing.

Newcastle will also have to contend with dead-ball specialist Conor Hourihane.

Benitez – whose side will be backed by almost 6,000 travelling fans – is expecting an uncomfortable evening for his team.