Benitez took Newcastle back to the Premier League by winning the Championship last season, but has been left frustrated by the club's transfer business in the summer. These are two of the best teams in Northern England and I am expecting both sets of fans to be passionate about this game which means we are in for a really good 90 minutes of football.
When trying to bring in the players that he needs to do a job in the Premier League, Rafa repeated "The market has changed and prices are so high...'.As an illustration he says it is a £10m price tag if a player can "kick the ball forward" and then that doubles 'if you put the ball in the net".
Centre back Jamaal Lascelles was called into action prematurely for Newcastle against Spurs, after injury forced new signing Florian Lejeune off.
Skipper Jonjo Shelvey will also not play owing to the red card he picked up last Sunday.
The summer window has been a testing time for Benitez. An away win can get you 11/5 odds, but in this preview, we are backing a draw as our betting prediction.
A 1-1 draw is the most common scoreline at 28/5 odds. And if we can not, we move on and try our best.
And Atsu, voted the Toon's best player in the game, is looking to inspire their first win of the campaign at the John Smith's Stadium.
"The next game is the most important".
Meanwhile, after it emerged this week that Barnsley defender Andy Yiadom's proposed move to Huddersfield had broken down, Wagner has said there is now no chance of the switch happening in the current transfer window. This tip is available at 23/10 odds at Paddypower.
With Dwight Gayle the only goalscorer at the club and Rafa having only Perez, Diame and de Jong for the number 10 position, you can be sure that on his wish list a striker of Gayle's ability or better and a decent number 10 were at the very top.