Newcastle v Manchester City Treatment Room
We are proud to bring you the Newcastle v Manchester City 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.
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So here we again, the start of another Premier League campaign and for the sake of my own sanity I’m hoping for a better opening performance than the atrocity witnessed at the Etihad last season; the less said about that Monday night the better!
Unsurprisingly, Alan Pardew confirmed midfielders Cheick Tiote (hamstring) and Siem de Jong (calf) were ruled out of the first game with respective muscular problems; in reality though the duo were never likely to feature heavily.
Tiote arriving late following a summer of exertions in Brazil which limited his pre season to a mere 60 minutes; any involvement at this stage in his recovery is simply asking for trouble – a short-term fix while sacrificing long-term fitness. Typically FIFA guidelines advise around four weeks rest – although three is generally accepted – with around three weeks of aerobic conditioning to allow players to be able to perform at the highest level on a weekly basis while helping to ensure they remain injury-free.
The worrying thing for me was Pardew’s comments earlier in the week;
“So they could be available and make it an easy job for me to pick my strongest team. But we’ll have to see.”
It’s clear to see why Newcastle feature prominently in terms of injuries; let’s hope Dave Billows is afforded the opportunity to impose his undoubted expertise without interference from above.
Papiss Demba Cisse is “working with the squad again” and is slightly ahead of schedule; the striker could return mid-September but Davide Santon continues to battle an ongoing knee problem. Yoan Gouffran recovers from a minor injury, while and French compatriot Remy Cabella will be in contention despite fitness concerns.
Manchester City have their own problems heading into Sunday’s game, with Manuel Pellegrini clearly concerned about a number of first team members;
“I am not too happy with our preparations because I think we need more days for the players that arrived late, though it was important for the players to have a good rest after the World Cup.”
Potential ramifications could mean Pablo Zabaleta, Martin Demichelis and Fernandinho may miss out; the trio have less than two weeks pre season training under their belts.
Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero continues “to strengthen my legs and to get my fitness right;” a wise move considering his numerous muscular problems throughout 2014 while captain Vincent Kompany is slightly ahead of his World Cup teammates in terms of fitness – Belgium’s early exit allowed for a quicker return – so I expect him to be involved.
New signing Eliaquim Mangala will not be included “I think that I will need a bit of time in order to be 100 per cent but it is normal,”, while Alvaro Negredo (fractured metatarsal) is the only definite absentee.
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