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Nick Pope – Great news on expected return for Newcastle United goalkeeper

3 weeks ago
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Nick Pope dislocated his shoulder in the closing stages of the 1-0 win over Man U on 2 December 2023.

The following eight weeks without him have seen eleven matches played, with three wins and eight defeats.

Although two of those three wins have come in the last trio of matches, Martin Dubravka keeping clean sheets away at Sunderland and Fulham.

The number two’s confidence and level of performances have definitely improved after a bit of a shaky return to action after so little football for so long.

However, safe to say that Newcastle United have missed Nick Pope, who has been nothing short of excellent overall, since arriving in summer 2022.

Now we have had a very encouraging update on the expected return for the NUFC number one, with The Times saying that their information is that Nick Pope is expected to return to action around mid-March time.

Newcastle United play away at Crystal Palace on the weekend of Saturday 16 March and then there is a two week gap for internationals, West Ham at home on the weekend of 30 March is the first of nine remaining Premier League matches following that international fortnight.

So plenty of potential Premier League action for Nick Pope if back available in March.

Of course, Newcastle United fans also now having hopes of a decent FA Cup run and an away tie at Championship Blackburn gives a very realistic chance of a place in the last eight.

These are the dates for the remaining FA Cup rounds…

Fifth Round  – Midweek of Wednesday 28 February 2024
Quarter-final – Weekend of Saturday 16 March 2024
Semi-final – Weekend of Saturday 20 April 2024
The Final – Saturday 25 May 2024

As you can see, a win over Blackburn would see the Palace away match postponed to accommodate a quarter-final.

Nick Pope has plenty extra to drive him towards a return.

Having cruelly missed out on the League Cup final last season with the red card against Liverpool, having been the NUFC player who did the most to get Newcastle to that final- (penalty shootout v Palace and conceding only one goal in five League Cup appearances last season.

Then also Nick Pope no doubt hoping to impress and get a place in England’s squad for the Euros in Germany.

Eddie Howe injury / availability update yesterday for Villa match and beyond as reported on The Mag – Monday 29 January 2024:

Eddie Howe on Miguel Almiron and Jamaal Lascelles:

“We hope Miggy will be with us.

“Jamaal I’m not so sure about.

“It’s not a serious injury but I think it might be enough to keep him out of this game – it will be close.

“We certainly hope to have Miggy with us.”

Eddie Howe on Harvey Barnes, Callum Wilson, Joe Willock and Elliot Anderson:

“Harvey is getting closer. He’s probably the closest, along with Callum.

“Then you go a little bit further back to Joe and a bit further again to Elliot, then we have a couple of others that are even further back.

“Harvey and Callum are probably the closest to returning to help us.”

Monday morning Newcastle United injury update for Aston Villa (and beyond…), having given some key injury / availability messages from Eddie Howe:

Kieran Trippier – The England defender is fine after feeling some groin soreness towards the end of the win over Fulham.

Miguel Almiron – Expected to be ok after having missed Saturday at Craven Cottage due to illness.

Jamaal Lascelles – A not serious calf injury means the club captain could potentially miss this Villa game.

Harvey Barnes – Eddie Howe saying the winger is ‘getting closer’ but not available yet for Tuesday’s match.

Callum Wilson – Same again with our number nine, Howe saying ‘getting closer’ but won’t make this Villa game.

Joe Willock – The former Arsenal player is behind both Barnes and Wilson when it comes to when he’s expected back in action.

Elliot Anderson – His back injury seeing him still some way off returning, not expected back until after the others above.

Eddie Howe of course also still missing Nick Pope, Joelinton and Matt Targett with long-term injuries, plus Tonali’s gambling related ban not up until late August 2024.

Newcastle United confirmed matches to early March 2024:

Tuesday 30 January 2024 – Aston Villa v Newcastle (8.15pm) TNT Sports

Saturday 3 February 2024 – Newcastle v Luton (3pm)

Saturday 10 February 2024 – Forest v Newcastle (5.30pm) Sky Sports

Saturday 17 February 2024 – Newcastle v Bournemouth (3pm)

Saturday 24 February 2024 – Arsenal v Newcastle (8pm) TNT Sports

(Sometime in midweek of Wednesday 28 February 2024 – FA Cup fifth round will be played away at Blackburn)

Saturday 2 March 2024 – Newcastle v Wolves (3pm)

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