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Newcastle United facing midfield dilemma ahead of FA Cup replay at Blackburn

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The video will start in 8 Cancel Rafa Benitez is facing a selection dilemma when it comes to Geordie midfielder Sean Longstaff.

With Benitez struggling with a midfield crisis, the 21-year-old is firmly in he frame to start United's FA Cup replay against Blackburn Rovers However, with Mo Diame out with a hip injury, Benitez may not want to risk the North Shields youngster for next weekend's clash in the Premier League against Cardiff City.

Benitez already has Jonjo Shelvey out with a calf problem while Ki is on international duty with South Korean at the Asian Cup.

Longstaff won plenty of plaudits for his performance against Chelsea in the 2-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge.

Benitez was delighted with his progress, and said: “He did well.

We had some problems in the middle in terms of numbers, so to play a young player like him and see how he did, I‘m quite pleased with him.” The United manager must now consider his team carefully for the clash at Ewood Park, and reserve team youngsters such as Cal Roberts and Josef Yarney may come into his thinking.

Benitez will have a meeting with development coach Ben Dawson ahead of the Under-23 side's clash with West Bromwich Albion at Whitley Park tomorrow night before deciding who makes the squad for Blackburn.
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