Rafa To Rest Key Players

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Newcastle were beaten 1-0 by a Theo Walcott goal at Goodison Park on Monday night to hand Everton the points and dent United’s chances of leapfrogging them in the table.

However, a top 10 finish is still very much a possibility for Newcastle as they face rock-bottom West Bromwich Albion on Saturday at St James’ Park.

Former Real Madrid and Liverpool boss Benitez said: “All we have to think about is to do well.

“What do we do after reaching 40 points?

“Try to get more.

“We will try to keep to get the competition for places and getting more points.”

Benitez was able to hand Islam Slimani a start during the 1-0 defeat against the Toffees while Jacob Murphy and Mikel Merino got minutes from the bench.

The Toon boss could look to mix things up again this weekend as the Magpies get the chance to relegate the Baggies.

With Ciaran Clark and Chancel Mbemba also looking for a slice of action before the season is over, Benitez said: “It’s difficult for them because the team won a few games in a row recently.

“I have repeated the team, but now maybe I will make some changes and give some players the opportunity to impress in the last few games.

“They know that they have to keep training well and maybe it will be easier for me to send the message across that I want to make changes.

“Now everybody has the option to do well for the team.”