Newcastle v Cardiff Treatment Room
We are proud to bring you the Arsenal v Newcastle Treatment Room, the latest in our regular feature where before each match, industry specialist Ben Dinnery brings you all the latest injury news ahead of the game.
If you use Twitter then make sure you follow @BenDinnery for all the up to date injury information, both for Newcastle United and across the rest of football.
I made a promise to myself this week that I wouldn’t get embroiled in any off-the-field happenings and I would try to focus on the task in hand – victory and three points in our final home game of the 2013/14 season.
Forget the fact that we’ve lost the last six Premier League games, and that we are currently in the midst of our worst run of form since 1987, and concentrate on the few positives ahead of tomorrow’s match.
Although not mathematically condemned to Championship football next season, Cardiff City require a truly herculean performance in their remaining fixtures to harbour any hopes of survival and the Bluebirds will be praying for a similar result to their FA Cup victory back in January.
However, in terms of league results, Newcastle can take solace from the fact that they’ve won their last seven head-to-head home games, a run dating back to 1981.
Also, consider Cardiff have the second worst away record in the division, have only managed 12 goals in 18 fixtures, and remain firmly anchored to the bottom of the table with a goal difference of minus 38; Newcastle have no excuses!
In terms of squad availability, Newcastle are expected to be able to choose from the same group that travelled to Arsenal on Monday night with the added option of on-loan striker Luuk de Jong who has recovered from an ankle injury.
It remains to be seen whether Hatem Ben Arfa will make the match-day squad but after an unauthorised press interview and training with the reserves, his inclusion seems highly unlikely.
Mathieu Debuchy is available after the French full-back was withdrawn at The Emirates “because I wanted to save him for Saturday.”
Juan Cala is out for Cardiff, with Ben Turner his likely replacement, the defender was unfortunate to receive his marching orders at Sunderland last weekend for an innocuous shirt pulling incident which ultimately cost his side.
Craig Noone (abdominal) and Mark Hudson (hamstring) remain sidelined while Andrew Taylor could once again miss out with an ankle injury.
Captain Steven Caulker is one of only two outfield players to play every minute of every game this season.
Let’s just hope Newcastle end the home season on a high!
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