Second international injury concern for Eddie Howe as Newcastle player misses key match
Eddie Howe has been away with the Newcastle United first team squad in Dubai this past week, that warm weather getaway rounded off with a 5-0 friendly win over Gulf United FC on Thursday.
That Dubai trip seemingly going off really well and Eddie Howe hoping for a similar impact as the Saudi Arabia one helped deliver in January, Newcastle following that warm weather getaway with a run of five wins and a draw in their next six games.
As well as the current first team players getting some valuable rest and recuperation in the sun in Dubai, there have also been positive reports on both Callum Wilson and Kieran Trippier, who are also on the trip away and working towards their comebacks from injury / surgery.
There are of course five of the Newcastle United first team squad not in Dubai, as they were called up for international duty.
On Thursday, three of the five enjoyed victories in World Cup qualifying matches, with Chris Wood scoring twice in a 7-1 win for New Zealand over New Caledonia, Miguel Almiron scoring in a 3-1 Paraguay win over Ecuador, whilst Bruno Guimaraes came off the bench and supplied Brazil’s fourth goal in a 4-0 win over Chile, his second assist in two matches.
However, concerns potentially for Eddie Howe with the other two Newcastle first team squad players on international duty.
Media in Switzerland reporting on Thursday morning that Fabian Schar had been forced to pull out of the Swiss squad and their matches this coming week against England and Kosovo.
Swiss media organisation, 20 minutes, reporting that Fabian Schar hadn’t been able to join in with full training this week and on Thursday morning had now left the national squad.
How bad the injury is and whether it impacts on Newcastle United remains to be seen, the next NUFC match is in nine days time at Tottenham.
The Switzerland national set-up later confirmed that Fabian Schar had been forced to pull out of the squad but no clarity on how serious (or not) the injury issue is. Media reports have claimed that Schar has been having painkilling injections to help him get through recent Newcastle matches as he has an ongoing groin problem, Eddie Howe desperate to keep Fabian Schar in the team alongside Dan Burn, the Swiss international has started 17 of Howe’s 18 Premier League matches and helped deliver the 26 points those 17 games have generated.
Another apparent concern now for Eddie Howe, appears to be Emil Krafth.
In Kieran Trippier’s absence, Krafth has started five of the six Premier League matches, but last night was nowhere to be seen for Sweden.
It was a huge game, as Sweden faced Czech Republic in their play-off semi-final, a very tense night seeing Krafth’s teammates eventually go through in extra time, a Quaison goal after 110 minutes enough for a 1-0 win.
However, Emil Krafth wasn’t named in the team, nor even amongst the subs. With injury seemingly the only explanation, though no news I have seen from the Sweden international set-up.
Krafth had for a long time being purely a squad player for his country, as has been the case for much of his days at Newcastle. However, recently he has become an important player for Sweden, starting five of their last World Cup qualifiers and coming off the bench in the other. Especially now he has been playing regularly in the Premier League for Newcastle, difficult to believe he wouldn’t have started last night if available.
An even bigger night now awaits Sweden and Emil Krafth (if fit), as on Tuesday (29 March), they play Poland in Chorzow with the winner getting a place at the World Cup finals in Qatar later this year. Poland got a bye into this play-off final after Russia were kicked out due to the attempted invasion of Ukraine, the Poles playing Scotland instead in a friendly last night where they grabbed a 1-1 draw with a penalty in the fourth minute of injury time.
For Eddie Howe though, potential worries concerning both Schar and Krafth ahead of six games in a four week period in April that will hopefully see Newcastle make sure of Premier League safety. The NUFC Head Coach also hoping that the likes of Wood, Almiron and Guimaraes will return to Tyneside fully fit and ready for the relegation battle.
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