New Newcastle United signing trains with squad as seven 'miss out' ahead of Manchester City

Newcastle United’s players have been back on the training pitch this week as they prepare to host Premier League holders Manchester City at St James’s Park this Sunday (4:30pm kick-off).

Both sides head into the game having made positive starts to the season. Newcastle sit fifth having picked up four points from their opening two games for the first time since the 2011-12 season.

Meanwhile, Manchester City have typically got off to a flyer with a 2-0 win over West Ham United and a 4-0 win over AFC Bournemouth seeing them top of the table heading into this weekend’s round of fixtures.

But the late kick-off on Sunday means City are unlikely to be top when the sides get the match under way at St James’s Park – but Pep Guardiola’s side will undoubtedly be keen to restore the status quo.

Newcastle player Matt Targett in action during the Pre Season friendly match between Newcastle United and Atalanta at St James' Park on July 29, 2022 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

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The match sees the only two sides in the Premier League yet to concede a goal this season go head to head. Newcastle’s defensive record will almost certainly be tested against a side that they conceded nine goals against without reply in their two league meetings last season.

And Newcastle have some fitness issues defensively heading into Sunday’s match.

Matt Targett (hamstring) missed the goalless draw at Brighton and was not pictured in training in the early part of the week. He remains a doubt for Sunday with Dan Burn potentially staying at left-back.

Winger Ryan Fraser (back) also missed the match at The Amex Stadium and could be back in contention this Sunday despite also not featuring in the club’s training gallery.

Emil Krafth (back) is understood to have a minor issue but is another who has not been pictured in training this week.

Federico Fernandez (calf) has been nursing himself back to full fitness and has trained with the squad in recent weeks but wasn’t pictured out on the grass earlier in the week.

Jonjo Shelvey (hamstring) and Kell Watts (knee) are long-term absentees for Newcastle after picking up injuries during pre-season.

Fourth choice goalkeeper Mark Gillespie was also seemingly absent from the training session as new signing Jude Smith took part in first-team training following his arrival from East Fife last week.

Under-21s goalkeeper Max Thompson also took part in the session along with Martin Dubravka, Nick Pope and Karl Darlow.