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Rafa reveals positive team news ahead of Wolves trip

Written by Luke Vinton

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benítez revealed four of his players have returned from injuries ahead of the Magpies' trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday night (kick-off 8pm GMT).

Paul Dummett, Ki Sung-yueng, Mohamed Diamé and Karl Darlow have all recovered for United and will be available to face Wolves.

Along with the return of Yoshinori Muto from Asian Cup duty with Japan, as well as the recent arrival of new signing Miguel Almirón, Benítez has been given plenty of extra selections to choose from before the Magpies' trip to the West Midlands.

However, Jonjo Shelvey and Rob Elliot are unavailable for the Premier League clash and remain sidelined - although Benítez stated Shelvey could be due to return in the upcoming weeks.

"It's much better. Apart from Jonjo and Elliot, the rest of the team are fine," Benítez said. "Everyone else is fit and available. It is good news - competition, as I always say, is positive for the team.

"Shelvey has been training outside but we don't want to take any risks. We still have to wait for one or two weeks but the problem is that he wants to push and be on the pitch, training well with the team, and we have to stop him sometimes.

"It is important to have everyone if it is possible but especially when at this time you are playing for everything. Players could be more tired and it's more risky for everyone because, at this stage of the season, they accumulate so many minutes that it is then when you have more problems, so it's good to have more bodies and more competition. In the end it has to be good for the team."

With Wolves enjoying an impressive top flight campaign after their promotion from the Championship last term, Benítez admitted he has been highly impressed with Nuno Espírito Santo's side, who currently sit in seventh place.

Benítez added: "They have a good manager and some very good players - they have players who have been champions of Europe and internationals at every level. They may be newly-promoted but they have spent more than £100 million. They are a good team who are doing really well.

"We knew after the game (at St. James' Park) watching the replays that everything was wrong and that we didn't deserve to lose the game but we cannot change that. We have to concentrate now on this one and it's an opportunity for us because every game is like a final. This is the first one and we have to play all of the finals with everyone fully focused."


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Benítez's pre-Wolves media briefing in full

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