The Daily Star have a report that states Steve Bruce will be without five players for Sunday’s match against Manchester United. However, it’s who is not mentioned that could be positive news for Newcastle.
First, the report says that Matt Ritchie is likely not going to be ready for this weekend. While we desperately miss Ritchie’s presence in the squad, this is not really a shock. With the second international break on the horizon, it’s probably best that Matt will get the extra few weeks to fully recover from his ankle injury.
Next, the report moves to the midfield duo of Isaac Hayden and Jonjo Shelvey. Hayden will, of course, not feature due to his 3-match ban for the straight red card at Leicester City.
Shelvey missed out on Sunday due to a hamstring injury. During his press conference last week, Bruce said that Jonjo was likely to miss a couple of weeks. So these two are not a surprise at all.
Finally, the last two of the five are long-term casualties, Florian Lejeune and Dwight Gayle. Lejeune returned to training last week and will likely not be available for selection until after the break. Dwight Gayle has been seen in training on a few occasions but still is likely a few weeks away with his calf injury.
Jetro Willems– will he be fit for Sunday?
The positive news is that Jetro Willems was not named in the report as being out for Sunday. Willems missed the Leicester City thrashing with a knee problem. His and Ritchie’s absence forced Steve Bruce’s hand in going to a back four, which proved disastrous. Hopefully, Jetro will be back for Sunday’s Manchester United match.