Craig Hope has dropped some injury news for Newcastle United ahead of their game away at Liverpool in the Premier League tonight.
The Lowdown: Defensive crisis
After the four goals that were shipped away at Leicester City last weekend, it is fair to say that the St. James’ Park faithful have a bit of a defensive crisis on their hands.
Should Fernandez be starting for Newcastle?
They have conceded no fewer than 34 goals in the Premier League so far this season, the joint-most in the division along with bottom-placed Norwich City, which is simply too much if they want to avoid relegation down to the Championship.
The January transfer window may help solve that, given recent links to the likes of defenders Sven Botman and Kieran Trippier, but ultimately Eddie Howe needs to try and get the best out of the squad that he has now.
The Latest: Fernandez injury
As per The Daily Mail journalist Hope, Federico Fernandez is now ‘set to miss’ the match at Liverpool as well as the ‘majority’ of other festive fixtures with a ‘thigh strain’, in what is a ‘blow’ for the North East club.
Hope claims that he is the one player that fans and observers believe could come in to aid the defensive issues that they have, but they are now set to be without him for the next few games at least.
The Verdict: Blow
It certainly is a blow to lose Fernandez, especially with the busy Christmas period coming up.
The Argentine has averaged the most blocks (1.4) out of his teammates in the top flight this term, and also ranks highly in terms of average clearances (3.9) and pass success (87.4%) (WhoScored).
The Tyneside outfit have conceded 22 goals in the nine Premier League games that he has not played in, while they have only let in 12 in the seven that he has featured (Transfermarkt), suggesting that they are a better defensive unit with him in the team.
Nonetheless, the Magpies will now have to find a way to pick up points without the 32-year-old, as they look to climb out of the relegation zone.
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