Kieran Trippier faces a race to be fit in time for Newcastle’s huge FA Cup clash against arch-rivals Sunderland, while Eddie Howe confirmed that Callum Wilson is set to miss out.
Trippier missed Newcastle’s heavy 4-2 defeat to Liverpool having sustained a groin injury in training, joining Wilson on the treatment table after the striker sustained a calf injury in his side’s Boxing Day defeat to Nottingham Forest.
Howe’s injury list continues to mount but the Newcastle boss hopes to have at least one player back and ready for selection come Saturday.
‘With Kieran [Trippier] we are going to give him a late test today. And we will see how he is,’ he said.
‘With Callum Wilson it is not too bad but it is enough to keep him out of this game and our next game. But hopefully, we will have him back for Aston Villa.’
Eddie Howe’s side are under pressure, with just one win in their last eight games in all competitions.
Saturday’s fixture will see the renewal of the Tyne-Wear rivalry, with the fixture taking place for the first time since Newcastle were relegated to the Championship in 2016.
While the Magpies returned to the Premier League at the first time of asking next season, Sunderland were ultimately relegated to the Championship and have since dropped as low as League One.
The Black Cats have enjoyed a resurgence in recent years under new ownership, gaining promotion back to the Championship and reaching the playoff semi-finals last season.
Newcastle’s record against their north-east rivals is less than exemplary, with their last win coming in August 2011 but Howe hopes his team can rise to the occasion to end his side’s sorry record.
‘We know what it means to everybody this game so hopefully, we can give a good account of ourselves,’ he said.
‘When the draw was made, I gave a couple of the Geordie [players] an opportunity to speak about the fixture just to set the scene. Since then the players know what the fixture means to everybody.’