Newcastle United fans ‘raising funds’ for Christian Atsu charity as Liverpool duo named in Team of the Week

The latest headlines from Newcastle United

Newcastle United face a long week as they await their highly anticipated Carabao Cup final clash with Manchester United. The match arrives after a run of four matches without a win in the Premier League.

The Magpies were hit with a sucker punch following their defeat to Liverpool, with Nick Pope out of the final after he was shown a red card at the weekend. With Martin Dubravka cup-tied, Eddie Howe will now have to rely on Loris Karius in between the sticks at Wembley Stadium. The German has spent recent seasons on loan with Union Berlin and Besiktas but hadn’t featured in a competitive match for Liverpool since his disastrous performance in the 2018 Champions League final - despite only leaving Merseyside in the summer.

Here are the latest headlines from St. James’ Park...

Christian Atsu charity initiative

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Newcastle United fan group Talk of Tyneside are raising money for Arms Around the Child - a charity that Christian Atsu was an ambassador for. The supporters have already raised almost £400 for the charity that is helping build a school in Ghana.

Atsu’s tragic passing was confirmed last week, 12 days after he went missing in the aftermath of the earthquake in Turkey. The 31-year-old joined Hatayspor in September and had scored a last minute winner against Kasimpasa the day before the earthquake.

After Newcastle’s tribute to Atsu before their defeat to Liverpool, a spokesperson for Talk of Tyneside said: A spokesperson for Talk of Tyneside said: “Christian Atsu was a well-loved figure on Tyneside and this has been highlighted by the scale of tributes paid to him by Newcastle United Football club and its fans.

“Following his passing, we were hoping to find a way to give supporters a way to show appreciation for his service to the club, and raising money for a fantastic charity that he worked with feels like the perfect way to do so.”

Liverpool duo in Team of the Week

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Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk and Darwin Nunez have been named in Garth Crooks’ Team of the Week following their win over Newcastle at the weekend.

Van Dijk returned to the starting line-up after over a month on the sidelines and quickly re-established himself as one of the Reds’ key stars with an impressive performance at the back. On the Dutchman, Crooks said: Not only did they beat Newcastle at St James’ Park on Van Dijk’s return, they also kept a clean sheet. The question now is can Liverpool put a significant run together that could take them back into the top four? With Van Dijk back in the team they are certainly capable of it.

Meanwhile, Nunez netted his first goal in the Premier League since November as he opened the scoring at St. James’ Park. The striker has struggled to live up to his price tag since joining from Benfica in the summer.

Crooks said: “His finish against Newcastle was emphatic and I now see a player growing in confidence. There was a moment against Newcastle when Nunez might have squared the ball to Mo Salah, and would have done six months ago, but chose to shoot and forced an excellent save from Martin Dubravka. These are all tell-tale signs of a striker starting to come of age.”