Bad news this morning for Newcastle fans, hoping for the return of Australian Mark Viduka, for the vital home game against high-flying Portsmouth on Saturday.
Mark has still not returned to full training and Sam has already said he will not play him until he gets some training under his belt.
The 32-year-old big man has missed Newcastleâ€™s last three games since suffering a slight calf problem in the defeat at Manchester City on 29th September, over 4 weeks ago.
Mark Viduka – cannot shake off his niggling calf injury
Mark has been doing both gym work with some light training as he tries to get over, what is a niggling injury. However, manager Sam Allardyce is unwilling to take any risks with the Australian international and his chances of playing on Saturday do not look good.
If Mark is not fit weâ€™d like to see Alan Smith played up front. Certainly when he initially partnered Martins in the home game against Everton, Alan looked the part. Shola Ameobi is another option and we think time is running out for Shola at the club, so he needs to make an impact soon. His most likely start will be on the bench but itâ€™s unlikely that Sam will start Owen and Martins up front together on Saturday.
Weâ€™d also like to see Milner and Nâ€™Zogbia start on both wings in a 4-4-2 formation. They bring good attacking options to the team.
Then of course what the back four will be is anyoneâ€™s guess at the moment with both Steven Taylor and David Rozehnal both very keen to reclaim their positions at the back. We think David will start and maybe Steven will make the bench.
Turns out all of Newcastle’s players were made to watch the 2-1 defeat at Reading on TV yesterday. That must have been painful to watch, and news is that Big Sam pointed out exactly where his under-performing side went wrong in both defense and attack.
What do you think the team will be for Saturday? You can let us know here and also check out our Newcastle United Forum for the game.