'Fantastic': Some Newcastle fans react to Jonjo Shelvey and Matt Ritchie

Matt Ritchie (R) celebrates after he finishes off a Jonjo Shelvey cross for the third Newcastle goal during the FA Cup third round replay between Newcastle United and Birmingham City at St...

The Newcastle duo made a combined 71 appearances last season.

Matt Ritchie (l) and Jonjo Shelvey of Newcastle react during the Sky Bet Championship match between Newcastle United and Leeds United at St James' Park on April 14, 2017 in Newcastle upon...

Newcastle United have been handed a huge boost ahead of their Premier League clash with Arsenal Saturday, as manager Rafa Benitez has announced midfielders Jonjo Shelvey and Matt Ritchie will be fit to play.

Ritchie has been missed Newcastle's last league game against Manchester City with a knee injury - which also kept him from representing Scotland during the international break - while Shelvey has missed the club's last three matches due to a thigh problem.


According to the Newcastle Chronicle, however, speaking in his press conference ahead of the weekend, Benitez confirmed that both players would be in the squad for the Gunners' visit to St James' Park on the weekend.

The duo were two of the Toon's most influential attacking players last season, and Benitez, who has been heavily criticised in recent weeks for his conservative game plans, will surely be glad to have them back.

Rafael Benitez the head coach

Arsenal have had a shaky start to the season under new manager Unai Emery, and with their dismal recent away record in the Premier League - just five wins in their last 21 away games - the Newcastle boss may fancy his chances on Saturday.

Newcastle fans will hope that the return of Ritchie and Shelvey can provide their side with the attacking impetus they need to get a result against Arsenal, and some have taken to Twitter to express their enthusiasm at the pair's availability:







Newcastle Players Matt Ritchie (L) and Jonjo Shelvey (R) walk outside during Newcastle United Training Session at The Newcastle United Training Centre on October 28, 2016 in Newcastle upon...

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