Dwight Gayle was passed fit by Rafa Benitez to take part today, Newcastle fans now only waiting to see if the striker starts against Huddersfield or takes a place on the bench.
It is seven weeks since the striker picked up an injury against Brentford and after an ill-fated attempted comeback against Aston Villa, Gayle will be hoping for better luck when he next steps onto the pitch.
In his absence the pack have closed and Friday night saw Chris Wood finally overtake the Newcastle number nine in the race to be Championship top goalscorer.
Wood scored twice to go above Gayle, Leeds winning 3-1 at Birmingham.
Many Crystal Palace confidently predicted it was no contest in terms of Dwight Gayle picking up the top scorer mantle this season but he now has a fight on his hands, hopefully inspiring him in these final 12 games.
The first of Gayle’s 20 goals (so far) this season was in that first home game v Huddersfield, a poor penalty by the striker ending up with him scoring the rebound (see image above).
This is how the top scorer picture now looks:
Championship Top Goalscorers – Up to and including 3 March 2017
Chris Wood (Leeds) – 22 goals
Played 2,735 minutes at average of 124 minutes per goal.
Dwight Gayle (Newcastle United) – 20 goals
Played 1,797 minutes at average of 90 minutes per goal.
Tammy Abraham (Bristol City – on loan from Chelsea) – 18 goals
Played 2,552 minutes at average of 142 minutes per goal.
Glenn Murray (Brighton) – 17 goals
Played 2,459 minutes at average of 145 minutes per goal.
Scott Hogan (Brentford/Aston Villa) – 14 goals
Played 2,602 minutes at average of 186 minutes per goal.
Sam Winnall (Barnsley/Sheff Wed) – 12 Goals
Played 1,957 minutes at average of 163 minutes per goal.
When it comes to the other three divisions, their top strikers up to and including 3 March 2017 are:
Premier League – All on 17 goals Harry Kane (every 106 minutes), Alexis Sanchez (126 mins), Romelu Lukaku (129 mins)
League One – Billy Sharp (Sheffield United) 23 goals at a rate of one every 126 minutes.
League Two – John Akinde (Barnet) 21 goals at a rate of one every 146 minutes.
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