What's Newcastle's team news?

Friday 01 December 2023 11:28

Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe has provided an update on his plans for the game with Manchester United during his pre-match press conference.

The Magpies' injury concerns have been well documented but their form remains impressive, after beating Chelsea 4-1 last time out in the Premier League, they were close to a securing one of their finest all-time results when leading 1-0 at Paris Saint-Germain, only for Kylian Mbappe to score a controversial stoppage-time penalty, awarded after a VAR intervention.

Although they played a day earlier, the fact Newcastle have also had a UEFA Champions League away trip in midweek, means Howe will be assessing his squad as Saturday's 20:00 GMT kick-off rapidly approaches.

Midfielders Sean Longstaff and Joe Willock have picked up problems that will see them miss the St James' Park encounter. Willock was one of the scorers as a much-changed Magpies side knocked the Reds out of the Carabao Cup at the start of November.

"We hope both Sean and Joe aren't long-term injuries," explained Howe. "We are hopeful we can get them back. The problem is even two or three weeks, at this stage, seems like a lifetime with the games we have got in that period. It's very difficult to give a definitive time on when they will be back, but we hope it won't be too long."

Sven Botman and Harvey Barnes are still sidelined, meaning the Tynesiders are needing to rely on their squad in this period.

"Sven is not training with us at the moment," added Howe. "He's building up very slowly to build his load to make sure we don't hit the knee injury too much. At the moment, he is reacting really well to the work he is doing. We hope that continues. He is such a big player for us. Harvey hasn't trained with us yet."

Dan Burn, Matt Targett, Jacob Murphy and Callum Wilson are flagged as longer-term absentees, as well as suspended Italy midfielder Sandro Tonali.

There are more options compared to Tuesday night, though, as Emil Krafth and Matt Ritchie are eligible again.  

Newcastle have won their last five home games in the Premier League but the Reds will be out to avenge our defeat in the north east last season, and make it five wins on the spin on the road in the competition.

"You can never underestimate the qualities of Manchester United," Howe insisted. "They are a very good team and have got outstanding individuals. They have a very good head coach who is leading them so, first and foremost, we have total respect to our opposition. They have won a lot of games recently and are performing well. They have quality players and I think it will be a really good game."

Erik ten Hag's men currently sit one point and one place above Newcastle, in sixth spot in the table.