The Toon Army are feeling nervous in the Transfer Tavern ahead of their huge fixture with Manchester United on Sunday afternoon.
Rafa Benitez will be desperately hoping to secure Newcastle’s first home victory over Manchester United since 2012 when he welcomes Jose Mourinho’s side to St James’ Park on Sunday. Newcastle were relegated from the top-flight during the season when they last defeated United, despite the fact they crushed The Red Devils by 3 goals to nil courtesy of strikes from Demba Ba, Yohan Cabaye and an own goal from Phil Jones.
If Newcastle do indeed record a huge victory in their battle for Premier League survival, they will be hoping that the three points will enable them to retain their top-flight status this time round.
Ahead of their weekend fixture, Newcastle’s regional newspaper The Chronicle confirmed that The Magpies deadline day signing Islam Slimani (valued at £19.8 million by Transfermarkt) has returned to full fitness and is ready to start against United this weekend.
According to the report, Slimani has shaken off the minor thigh injury he had prior to moving to Tyneside in January, and the supporters are hoping that Benitez will hand the Algerian striker his full debut for the club when they face United.
Newcastle’s league position looks incredibly precarious within the incredibly condensed lower half of the table, but Slimani’s impact could completely change the course of their season in the coming weeks – starting this weekend at St James’ Park.
Here’s what the supporters on Twitter have had to say about Slimani’s potential involvement this weekend…
Can’t see slimani starting next game with him just coming back from injury hope I’m wrong though
We simply have to start Slimani
— Tino's fur coat (@TinosFurCoat) February 8, 2018
Slimani definitely going to start? Tremendous news
— Micky (@mmmiiiccckkkyyy) February 8, 2018
All 3 need to start. Simple as that. Much better than what we have.
— Dan Snowden (@DanSnowden) February 8, 2018
Agree they all 3 need to start & kenedy & slimani are better than what we have but the GK who knows? We all thought Sels was going to be the answer but he looked shaky from the start. I would still put the new lad in mind let’s hope he gets a good start and a bit of confidence
— Dan Willan (@DanWillan84) February 8, 2018
That lad has the destiny of NUFC in his hands and has the chance to be an absolute hero!! Step up lad !!
— Kevin Hunter (@KevinHunter2408) February 8, 2018
He certainly has the game to make him a Geordie hero
— Steve Martin (@schultzynz) February 7, 2018
Me too Jason we need to get at them from the start I’d go with Diame and shelvey in the middle with merino in behind slimani and Kenedy and Atsu on the wings
— Rich Miller nufc (@Rich1982Miller) February 9, 2018
Really think Slimani could cause havoc to Manchester United defence this weekend. They aren’t like city where we have to sit back and soak up the pressure. Get at that from the start. Let’s hope things change with our home record this Sunday
— scurf (@scurf9) February 7, 2018
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