Key Newcastle man returns to fitness ahead of Liverpool clash but Eddie Howe rules two players out

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Liverpool make the long trip to St. James’ Park on Sunday to face Eddie Howe’s Newcastle and although Jurgen Klopp has admitted Ibou Konate is a ‘doubt’ for the game it appears that the Magpies also have some injury concerns of their own heading into the clash.

Joelinton, who limped off during Newcastle’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester City last weekend, is expected to be fit to face the Reds but Howe’s side will be without the services of Emil Krafth and Joe Willock.

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The latter is yet to feature this season after picking up a hamstring injury towards the back end of last season and is not expected to return to training until next month’s international break.

Howe revealed (as quoted by Newcastle World) in his pre-match press conference: “Joe [Joelinton] is fine. We didn’t see him in the early part of the week but trained in the latter part so fingers crossed he’s OK.“

Speaking about Willock, Howe added: “He’s making good progress. I’d say this is probably the strongest he’s looked in terms of his hamstring. I think he had his hamstring re-scanned a couple of days ago and the report back on that scan was very, very good, no problems.

“He had a bit of fatigue in his hamstring, I don’t think there was a major re-injury but he’s doing really well and committed to his work. We hope he’ll be training with us around the international break time. He’s a massive player.”

READ MORE: Liverpool dealt huge blow ahead of Newcastle clash; ‘incredibly talented’ 24 y/o now a ‘doubt’

Joelinton is a massive player for Newcastle with the energy and tenacity he brings to their midfield.

Willock, meanwhile, is a quality player in his own right and has showed what he’s made of since joining the Magpies from Arsenal in 2021.

He’ll be a huge miss but Howe and Co. will still be able to call up on the likes of Sandro Tonali and Bruno Guimaraes in the middle of the park.

You can’t help but feel that winning the midfield battle is imperative for Liverpool if we’re to come away with anything from the game.

Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai and Wataru Endo will need to be right at it from the first whistle in the north east and we look forward to watching what should be a brilliant game.

Let’s hope we can come out on top and pick up another huge three points.

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