Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe faces the possibility of being without a key player for today’s Premier League clash with Chelsea.
The Lowdown: Magpies missing…
The Magpies have enjoyed an extraordinary run of form over the last two months, with Howe now aiming to all but seal his team’s place in the top flight for 2022/23.
Newcastle are unbeaten in their last nine Premier League matches, winning six of them, with their last league defeat coming against Premier League frontrunners Manchester City in mid-December (Transfermarkt).
The St James’ Park side have racked up 19 points out of their last 21 matches, putting a 10-point gap between themselves and the bottom three – a feat made all the more extraordinary given that they’ve had to cope with a few injuries in that time.
Federico Fernandez, Callum Wilson and Kieran Trippier are among the players to have been sidelined, with an update now coming to light on star player Allan Saint-Maximin.
The Frenchman returned from his own knock recently against Brighton but missed the subsequent trip to Southampton through illness (Transfermarkt).
The Latest: Saint-Maximin worry for Howe…
Ahead of the visit to Chelsea today, it is touch-and-go as to whether Saint-Maximin will return for the Stamford Bridge clash, with the 25-year-old in a ‘fitness fight’ alongside Joelinton, as per Lee Ryder.
The Verdict: Potential blow…
As the recently rejuvenated Newcastle aim to continue their remarkable run, potentially being without Saint-Maximin this afternoon would seriously hamper their chances of another victory.
The former Nice star is by some distance Howe’s most threatening player in the final third, averaging a simply sensational 4.5 successful take-ons per 90 in the league this season (WhoScored).
He also takes more shots per match than any Magpies player (two) and boasts the most goals and assists combined (5G, 3A), leaving little wonder why BBC radio pundit Noel Whelan has described him as a ‘massive player‘ for Newcastle.
Supporters will be hoping that the 25-year-old is indeed available today, but at the time of writing, it seems less than certain.
In other news: Offer made: PIF enter talks to sign ‘perfect’ player for Howe after Newcastle development in last 72 hours, find out more here.
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