Newcastle United: Joe Willock ‘doubtful’ with injury
Newcastle United have been dealt an injury blow before they play Liverpool as Eddie Howe has confirmed that Joe Willock is ‘doubtful’ for the clash.
The Lowdown: Injury at Bournemouth
Willock was forced off through injury during the first half of Newcastle’s 1-1 draw away at AFC Bournemouth in the Premier League last weekend, with Howe admitting that he was concerned over the extent of the issue.
As well as their game against Liverpool at St. James’ Park, they also have the Carabao Cup final against Manchester United coming up in just over a week, and Howe has since given an update on Willock’s fitness ahead of the next set of fixtures.
The Latest: Willock ‘doubtful’
Speaking to the media in his pre-game press conference ahead of their match this evening, Howe has confirmed that Willock is ‘doubtful’, but hopes to get him back ‘very quickly’:
“We haven’t seen him yet and think he’ll be doubtful for tomorrow’s game. I don’t think it’s a big injury at all, a very minor complaint with his hamstring, so we hope to get him back very quickly.”
The Verdict: Do not risk him…
With the Carabao Cup final next weekend, Howe should not risk Willock at all against Liverpool.
The £80,000-per-week central midfielder has been a standout player for the Magpies over the past year, ranking in the top 10% among his positional peers in Europe’s top five leagues for a number of key metrics.
He has not missed a single game under Howe so far this season, showing how key he is to the team, but given his importance, the manager should not be risking the Englishman this evening, and instead make sure that he is fully fit for when they play the Red Devils.