Steve Bruce injury and fitness update on seven Newcastle United players for Wolves match
After a desperate second-half that almost proved disastrous at Rochdale, Steve Bruce now has to focus once again on not getting dragged fully into the relegation battle.
Having very fortuitously arrived at 25 points after 18 games, losing three in a row and conceding nine goals has seen the bottom of the table start to close up.
As well as the points difference closing up, Newcastle now find themselves with a minus 13 goal difference, only bottom two Watford and Norwich have worse ones.
Apart from Lejeune who was rightly rested and left on the bench, Steve Bruce did pick his strongest 11 from those who travelled to Rochdale. Though some fans were sceptical about whether certain players were really injured, such as Carroll and Gayle.
Ahead of Wolves, Steve Bruce has given an update on the injury situation, with extra info on seven players who were ruled injured and/or unfit for Rochdale.
The NUFC Head Coach has stated that he doesn’t think any of Fabian Schar, Jetro Willems, Jonjo Shelvey and Javier Manquillo being fit for Saturday. All four picking up their injuries against Leicester and the trip to Molineux coming 10 days after that defeat, so it doesn’t appear that any of those four injuries have proved simply to be knocks/minor.
In better news, Steve Bruce says he is ‘hoping that four or five are back’ for the Wolves match and names three of those he hopes to have available.
Those being Paul Dummett, Ciaran Clark and Allan Saint-Maximin.
Steve Bruce is obviously desperate to have ASM back and openly admits that, no surprise there. It is no coincidence that this run of four defeats in five games has come since Saint-Maximin was injured against Southampton.
You just hope that if Steve Bruce does play the French winger, he isn’t taking unnecessary risks yet again. Already twice this season we have seen ASM miss extra matches due to the head coach rushing him back and overplaying him.
Elsewhere in the squad, I thought it was a really bad move to start Miguel Almiron on Saturday, the Rochdale game made it five starts in a row in only a two week period and surely no surprise that the Paraguayan ended up forced off with an injury.
If Almiron is ruled out of the Wolves match then you can see Bruce being even more likely to take risks with Saint-Maximin.
The Head Coach did say immediately after the Rochdale game that he thought Muto’s injury looked worse than Almiron’s but that remains to be seen.
In better news, Ritchie got through his sub appearance seemingly ok on Saturday but after five months out it would be a surprise if he started at Wolves, especially with having so many setbacks with his ankle injury.
Florian Lejeune will be available after even Steve Bruce admitted it had been stupid to start the defender in so many games in quick succession, culminating in that really poor display against Leicester.
Elsewhere, we wait on whether Andy Carroll and/or Dwight Gayle are fit for Wolves. Rumours persist that Newcastle are trying to sell Gayle so interesting to see if anything happens on that front this week.
The last couple of days bringing claims that loan moves for both Giroud and Batshuayi have been turned down by Chelsea, at least temporarily, as they try to bring in new strikers of their own. Whilst yesterday it was reported that 36 year old Glenn Murray is also being targeted on a short-term contract.
Needless to say, whatever team plays on Saturday, a point to stop the slide would be very gratefully received, especially with then other tough matches against Chelsea at home and Everton away to follow.
“I hope Clark, Dummett, Saint-Maximin…I am hoping that four or five are back.
“I can’t see any of the centre-backs or those [Willems, Shelvey, Manquillo and Schar] who got injured the other day [against Leicester] being fit.
“Hopefully we might have four or five back.
“Look…we make no excuse, the real quality we have at the top end of the pitch, with him and Almiron, is there for us to see.
“They have that quality that you buy.
“We have missed him because of the way we play and he causes a threat so let’s hope he comes back this weekend.
“Dwight Gayle [for Rochdale] was injured, he was stiff and sore with the glute…is that the right word? He limped off in training two days ago so him and Andy [Carroll] were not available.”
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