At least 6 Newcastle United players set to miss Sheffield United after sitting out friendlies
The Newcastle United players have been stepping up their preparations for the Premier League restart.
Training began a month ago with small groups keeping themselves socially distanced, then gradually building up towards full contact training.
Permission was then given for friendly matches against other clubs and this past week has seen two games against Championship opposition.
Tuesday saw a 3-2 win over Middlebrough at the NUFC training ground, goals from Muto, Almiron and Joelinton turning around a 0-2 deficit.
Yesterday saw Hull City visit St James Park, Saturday’s friendly producing a 2-0 victory with goals from Lejeune and Allan Saint-Maximin.
Naturally, these friendlies give little / no indication as to how the Newcastle United players will get on, when competitive football returns in seven days time.
However, I think we now have a very good idea of who will and won’t be available to play against Sheffield United.
These are the 19 Newcastle United players who got minutes yesterday against Hull City and in brackets which of them also featured four days earlier against Middlesbrough:
Martin Dubravka (Middlesbrough)
Karl Darlow (Middlesbrough)
Javier Manquillo (Middlesbrough)
Florian Lejeune (Middlesbrough)
Fabian Schär (Middlesbrough)
Federico Fernández (Middlesbrough)
Danny Rose (Middlesbrough)
DeAndre Yedlin (Middlesbrough)
Jonjo Shelvey (Middlesbrough)
Isaac Hayden (Middlesbrough)
Nabil Bentaleb (Middlesbrough)
Emil Krafth (Middlesbrough)
Allan Saint-Maximin (Middlesbrough)
Matt Ritchie (Middlesbrough)
Miguel Almíron (Middlesbrough)
Valentino Lazaro (Middlesbrough)
Yoshinori Mutō (Middlesbrough)
So as you can see, 18 Newcastle United players above played in both friendlies, Andy Carroll the only one to miss Middlesbrough but get some time on the pitch against Hull.
These are the Newcastle United players who played against Middlesbrough but not Hull:
No news on why Atsu missed but Steve Bruce explained after Saturday’s match that Lascelles had missed Hull due to the birth of his second child this weekend.
As for those who haven’t featured in either friendly:
Matty Longstaff, Rob Elliot, Sean Longstaff, Paul Dummett, Ciaran Clark, Dwight Gayle
Steve Bruce has repeatedly made a big deal of the risk of injuries as we restart the season, so safe to assume that none of these last six will be starting against Sheffield United. Rob Elliot is third choice keeper of course and may well not be injured but won’t play next weekend regardless, whilst as things stand, Paul Dummett isn’t able to play even if fit as he wasn’t named in the official NUFC PL quad for the rest of this season.
A worry though to see Gayle, Clark and the Longstaff brothers all out of action.
As well as none of these half dozen playing against Sheffield United, I think safe to say Andy Carroll won’t be able to start that game either with such limited game time in these friendlies. Though hopefully he will make the bench, especially as you will be allowed nine subs with five able to be used.
That then leaves Atsu as a possible worry as well after he missed yesterday’s Hull friendly.
Steve Bruce has made much of needing as many players available as possible due to the number of games and this isn’t looking the best of starts in the preparation for restart.
If Newcastle did get to the FA Cup final, that would mean 12 games in six weeks between 21 June and 1 August.
These opening two weeks see a guaranteed four NUFC games, between Sheffield United at home on 21 June and Bournemouth away on Sunday 5 July, with home games against Villa and Man City (FA Cup) in between.
With seemingly limited squad options, little wonder that Newcastle have been looking to extend contracts for certain players beyond 30 June when they were due to end.
It was reported on Saturday that Andy Carroll and Javier Manquillo have verbally agreed short-term deals until the 2019/20 season ends.
Whilst it was also reported that both Danny Rose and Valentino Lazaro have extended their loans to cover 2019/20 games beyond 30 June.
As always, you really worry about the attacking threat if the likes of ASM and / or Almiron are missing.
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]