4 Newcastle United players ruled out of Athletic Bilbao match – Official update
The Newcastle United players on Friday night gave a very decent account of themselves against Atalanta.
A clean sheet and a one goal win courtesy of a Chris Wood penalty (won by Elliot Anderson), saw United deservedly beat good quality Serie A opposition.
A nervy start saw United and Atalanta repeatedly giving the ball away and the visitors had a couple of early chances, however, after that opening half hour it was Newcastle who, once they settled, were the better team and deserved to win.
Only really the last 10-15 minutes did Atalanta start to threaten again, as they introduced fresh legs. With two matches in two days, when the teams were announced, it was clear that Eddie Howe had decided to try and give all of his first team squad full games this weekend.
The head coach starting on Friday night with Pope, Trippier, Schar, Burn, Targett, Sean Longstaff, Anderson, Almiron, Murphy, Fraser and Wood, whilst filling the bench with players from the younger age groups. Jacob Murphy the only starter not to get 90 minutes and even then, Matty Longstaff only replaced him with eight minutes to go. Eddie Howe commented after the match that he had wanted to give his main squad players full games in preparation for the season starting next weekend, admitting he would normally have used his bench far more in a competitive match and wanted them to get a good test, which they got in those later stages when Atalanta introduced a lot of fresh players.
So what kind of line up can Newcastle fans expect for this Athletic Bilbao match on Saturday afternoon?
After the win over Atalanta, Eddie Howe was asked about availability and in particular, what the situation was regarding Jonjo Shelvey – the midfielder having been forced off against Benfica with what looked a hamstring problem:
“Everyone available (for the Athletic Bilbao match) apart from Fede Fernandez, Jamal Lewis, Javier Manquillo.
“Jonjo Shelvey won’t be involved either tomorrow, we were waiting for some scans results and a couple of opinions on his hamstring injury.
“It looks like there is some nerve damage.
“We are waiting to see the extent of the damage of the hamstring, if there is any at all.”
Journalists had reported on Friday that the message was the Shelvey injury wasn’t serious, with estimates of a two to four week absence. Hopefully this will prove to be the case.
Joelinton was suspended last night after his red card against Benfica but is back available today.
Martin Dubravka missed the Benfica match with a sprained wrist, whilst Paul Dummett was reported by journalists to have been simply rested. So unless Eddie Howe had missed anyone on the injured / missing list, it looks like this pair will be included in the following group of Newcastle United first team squad players that the head coach will select from.
Dubravka, Darlow, Dummett, Lascelles, Botman, Bruno G, Anderson, Saint-Maximin, Wilson, Joelinton, Ritchie, Krafth, Willock
If Paul Dummett proved not to be available, 20 year old Matt Bondswell impressed when playing 45 minutes against Benfica, so potentially he could get another chance against Athletic Bilbao.
Newcastle 1 Atalanta 0
Wood 39 pen
Newcastle team v Atalanta:
Pope, Trippier, Schar, Burn, Targett, Sean Longstaff, Anderson, Almiron, Murphy (Matty Longstaff 82) , Fraser (Bondswell 90) Wood (Stephenson 90)
Gillespie, De Bolle, Munoz, Turner-Cooke, A.Murphy, Miley
(Match Report : Newcastle 1 Atalanta 0 – Boost for Eddie Howe and plenty positives – Read HERE)
(Newcastle 1 Atalanta 0 – Instant NUFC fan / writer reaction to Friday’s victory – Read HERE)
(Eddie Howe brutally honest when asked about more signings after win over Atalanta – Read HERE)
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]