Prior to the international break, Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez admitted that he was worried about players getting injured as they joined their respective nations for friendly matches. Those fears have come to materialise as winger Matt Ritchie has pulled out of the Scotland squad ahead of Tuesday's friendly against Hungary.

Ritchie played in Scotland's 1-0 defeat against Costa Rica on Friday, but the Chronicle are reporting that he suffered a groin injury, forcing him to miss out on the match this week.

The question now becomes: Will Ritchie be fit to play for Newcastle against Huddersfield this weekend?

Newcastle are 13th in the table, four points clear of the relegation zone on 32 points, but are by no means out of danger yet. Saturday's match against Huddersfield presents a massive opportunity for the Toon to inch closer to safety.


Huddersfield Town, who have played one more match than Newcastle, are 15th in the table on 31 points. If the Magpies can grab a win, they'll open a decent gap from the chasing pack while simultaneously pushing a relegation rival closer to the drop zone. 

Ritchie's absence would be a blow to Newcastle. The 28-year-old has two goals in his last three appearances (including the winner against Manchester United) and is playing his best football of the season. 

Benitez could use Christian Atsu or Ayoze Perez to fill the gap, depending on the formation he chooses, but Newcastle would miss Ritchie's tenacity and work rate. Hopefully he can recover from the knock and be ready to go when Huddersfield come to St. James' park this Saturday.