English Premiership

Benitez hopes Shelvey is ready for Arsenal

Jonjo Shelvey and Rafa Benitez (Getty Images)
Jonjo Shelvey and Rafa Benitez (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez says he is optimistic about having Jonjo Shelvey fit for Saturday's Premier League clash with Arsenal.

The Magpies boss is awaiting late fitness tests for both Shelvey and Matt Ritchie.

Shelvey has returned to training after recovering from a thigh injury, while Ritchie is still on his way back from a knee injury.

"We have had Jonjo training, and Ritchie's still with the physio, but they're pushing," Benitez told the press.

"These two players are the kind of players that you have to stop them, because they want to play and they're working really, really hard to be there.

"So, we will see. Still, we have some time, but at least Jonjo was training. If we don't have any problems, he can be there. It's too soon to say 'yes', but I am quite optimistic."

Newcastle are down in 18th position after the first four games of the season, and are still in search of their first win.