Eddie Howe's Newcastle United call on Joelinton revealed

Joelinton will start this afternoon’s game against Fulham.

Newcastle United take on Marco Silva’s side at St James’s Park knowing a win would take them within a point of second-placed Manchester City – and Joelinton, this week charged with drink driving, is in an unchanged XI.

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Asked about the midfielder’s involvement on Friday, head coach Eddie Howe said: “I’m going to have to reflect and analyse on that, and I’ll make a decision closer to the game in consultation with him. I’m not 100% sure.

“It (Joelinton’s arrest) came very much as a shock. It's a difficult situation. Joe’s very remorseful. He was very upset yesterday. I think he knows the seriousness of the situation. Obviously, I can’t go into too much detail out of respect for the case. I think he understands his responsibilities, and we’re now in a position where we’re supporting him. We also understands as a football club the seriousness of the situation.”

Striker Alexander Isak, back from long-term injury, is on the bench and in line to play in his first Premier League game since September.

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Howe said: "I think we have to be very careful with him, just with the length of the time he’s been out, and the type of injury that he had. He’s done all the work. He’s looked in good condition.”

Meanwhile, former United striker Aleksandar Mitrovic returns to the Fulham side after serving a one-game suspension.

Newcastle United midfielder Joelinton arrives at St James's Park.Newcastle United midfielder Joelinton arrives at St James's Park.
Newcastle United midfielder Joelinton arrives at St James's Park.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Pope; Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn; Guimaraes, Longstaff, Willock; Almiron, Joelinton, Wilson. Subs: Dubravka, Lascelles, Saint-Maximin, Ritchie, Lewis, Isak, Manquillo, Wood, Murphy.

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FULHAM: Leno; Tete, Diop, Ream, Kurzawa; Palhinha, Reed; Decordova-Reid, Andreas Pereira, Willian; Mitrovic.