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Eddie Howe without 8 players vs. Liverpool – but “fingers crossed” for captain


Eddie Howe has an extensive injury list ahead of his side’s trip to Anfield on Monday, and he remains uncertain over the availability of his captain for the clash.

The Magpies have lost four of their last five games in the Premier League as injuries continue to mount up, and the number of games have only compounded their woes.

Newcastle fell to a 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Nottingham Forest last time out and head to Merseyside with a lousy away record with only five points from nine games on the road.

And while Howe cannot turn to a wave of players back from injury in time for Monday’s game, he was somewhat hopeful of captain Jamaal Lascelles being available after missing their Boxing Day clash.

“Jamaal we don’t think serious, we hope we can get him back pretty soon,” Howe told reporters on Friday. “Let’s wait and see [if he’s back vs. Liverpool]. Fingers crossed.”

It was the first of two mentions of his captain, as he later added: “I don’t think Jamaal Lascelles’ is a serious injury, so we await final confirmation of that, but fingers crossed he’ll be back soon.

“Apart from that, I don’t see anything to come back in the very short term.”

While Lascelles, therefore, remains a doubt, we know that Newcastle will be without any of Nick Pope (shoulder), Harvey Barnes (foot), Sandro Tonali (ban), Joe Willock (achilles), Jacob Murphy (shoulder), Elliot Anderson (back), Javi Manquillo (groin) or Matt Targett (thigh) on New Year’s Day.

They did receive a boost last time out with Joelinton playing 19 minutes on his return from a hamstring strain, meaning he will be in contention to start at Anfield.

Howe does have choices, however limited they may be, with Callum Wilson, Miguel Almiron, Anthony Gordon and Alexander Isak all available in attack, while Fabian Schar and Sven Botman will be the expected centre-back partnership with Lascelles evidently in doubt.

As for Jurgen Klopp, he was handed a boost after Alexis Mac Allister took part in training on Friday, though Jarell Quansah was notably absent.

Possible Newcastle XI vs. Liverpool: Dubravka; Trippier, Schar, Botman, Livramento; Guimaraes, Joelinton, Longstaff; Wilson, Gordon, Isak