Allan Saint-Maximin STARTS for Newcastle United

Allan Saint-Maximin has been handed a start against Chelsea.

Saturday, 18th January 2020, 4:42 pm
Jonjo Shelvey. (Pic: Martin Swinney)

Newcastle United take on Frank Lampard’s side at St James’s Park this afternoon.

And winger Saint-Maximin, signed last summer from Nice for £16.5million, has been named in the starting XI after recovering from the hamstring injury which has kept him out for more than a month.

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Asked about his injury problems, Bruce said: “We’ve a few coming back, which is good, particularly Allan. He’s trained the last two weeks, and we hope he’s going to OK. We’ve been down to the bare bones, 12 or 13 (injured) out at once in a squad of 25 with three goalkeepers. That tells you we are in trouble. We hope in a couple of weeks they’re all OK.”

Midfielder Jonjo Shelvey also returns to the starting XI, while Sean and Matty Longstaff drop down to the bench along with winger Matt Ritchie, who has had two operations on the ankle he injured in August.

Newcastle were 13th in the Premier League – and five points above the relegation zone – before this afternoon’s game. Chelsea were fourth.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Dubravka, Krafth, Clark, Lascelles, Fernandez, Willems, Shelvey, Hayden, Almiron, Saint-Maximin, Joelinton. Subs: Darlow, Schar, Ritchie, Lejeune, Atsu, S Longstaff, M Longstaff.

CHELSEA: Kepa, James, Rudiger, Christensen, Azpilicueta, Kante, Jorginho, Mount, Willian, Abraham, Hudson-Odoi. Subs: Caballero, Barkley, Pedro, Zouma, Kovacic, Batshuayi, Emerson.