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Positives as five Newcastle United players in training session but two missing

1 year ago
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The club have put out photos of the Newcastle United players training ahead of Sunday.

A tough task ahead with Steve Bruce’s team travelling to Leicester City.

A team third in the Premier League and  into the fourth round  of the League  Cup, up against visitors who are  fourth bottom in the league and out of the League Cup.

No doubt Steve Bruce needing every bit of help he can get.

Steve Bruce said about the injury situation at his pre-Brighton press conference on 20 September 2019:

“As long as he (Allan Saint-Maximin) comes through today then he’s in contention as well.

“As long as he (Andy Carroll) comes through today okay – touch wood he will – he will be involved, which is good news at the top end of the pitch.

“Certainly the return of Andy and Allan Saint-Maximin will give us something that can only benefit us.

“Sean Longstaff’s not going to make it unfortunately – maybe the end of next week (then Matt Ritchie a week later).

The images released by the club have hopefully pointed towards positive news ahead of Sunday’s game.

Whilst Carroll continues to be most talked about it is surely Allan Saint-Maximin who is the one who is most likely to get Newcastle on the ‘front foot’ this season.

Despite only playing 17 minutes as a sub, the winger was man of the match against Brighton, as finally somebody caused the visiting defence problems with his direct running.

At the end of that game Saint-Maximin was seen clutching his hamstring and Steve Bruce said he didn’t know how serious it was.

The good news  is that clearly it was nothing serious, with the former Nice winger pictured training with the squad yesterday.

Andy Carroll was also there but this week The Telegraph revealed that Newcastle’s medical staff had indicated that it would almost certainly be 2020 before Carroll could be considered as a starter, due to the fragile nature of his ankle. So it is good news he is still training and is set to be available as an impact sub once again but no chance of starting at Leicester.

As for Florian Lejeune, great to see him back training with the other players. He said that so long as his specialist gave the all clear he would be returning to training and clearly that has been the case, though of course still some way off being available to play.

DeAndre Yedlin had surgery at the end of last season for a longstanding problem in the pelvic region and had a setback when trying to step up up his training in August. However, he is continuing to train ok now and was pictured yesterday, so only a matter of time before he is involved again, though you would imagine it will definitely be on the subs bench first of all.

Sean Longstaff has been a massive miss and with him training normally, fair to say that he sounds in line to return for Leicester as indicated by Bruce last Friday. Press reports this week have also said the Geordie midfielder will be available.

Steve Bruce has been very enthusiastic about Matt Ritchie’s progress and saying he was ahead of schedule. However, when he said a return maybe a week after Longstaff that would make it Man Utd at home on Sunday 6 October and I don’t see it making any sense to rush him back then even if he did make such progress, surely with the two week international break that follows Man Utd, it would be far better to target Chelsea away on Saturday 19 October. Ritchie was missing from training in yesterday’s photos so it points to obviously definitely not available for Leicester and very dubious for Man Utd as per the above.

Dwight Gayle hasn’t played any football since the end of last season and his absence from training  suggests that he will continue to be an absentee for some time.

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