Shearer has revealed today that he hasn’t yet given up on having both young defenders, Sebastien Bassong and local lad Steven Taylor, fit for the visit of the Blues tomorrow.
Sebastien Bassong – fitness will go down to the wire
When Taylor left St. James’ Park on crutches two weeks ago, with his ankle heavily protected after the Arsenal game, there were fears he could be out for months, if there was ankle ligament damage.
But the good news was that it was only bruising, and at the very least Steven, who has been in his best form of the season recently, will be fit for the do-or-die game at Stoke City next weekend.
And Bassong is also seeming to make good progress after his groin injury.
Alan Shearer told the Evening Chronicle today:
“Bassong and Taylor are going along OK.” “I still haven’t given up on them. It will go right to the wire with those two.”
“Damien Duff will train today, but Shola will be missing through injury.” “Andy Carroll (ankle) has trained and there was no reaction.”
“Other than long-term injuries like Joey Barton, Mark Viduka and Nacho Gonzalez, we are doing OK.” “There are a few injuries but I still think we’ve got enough.”
It will be very interesting to know what Alan’s team for tomo0rrow will be. If Bassong and Taylor are fit we think Alan could pick the following side:
Beye Coloccini Bassong Enrique
Lovenkrands Butt Nolan Gutierrez
Owen (c) Martins
Subs: Forster S.Taylor Guthrie Geremi R.Taylor Carroll Smith
We cannot find a place for Duff on the bench, but Alan may. We also have Peter Lovenkrands on the right wing, because of his goal-scoring ability, and as Shearer has already said, we need goals.
We’d also like to see young Carroll play tomorrow, because this lad has looked good when he’s played this year, and he’s also great in the air, and with some Shearer advice he might just be the ticket for tomorrow afternoon, as a second half substitute.
In fact Alan has some tough decisions to make on who starts tomorrow – but if the lads who are recovering from injury, are OK, we’ll have a very strong bench.
Let’s know what you think the team will be – assuming the two young defenders are fit.
Comments always welcome.