Newcastle United handed major boost ahead of Bournemouth as three key players return to training
Having returned from Saudi Arabia last week, the Newcastle squad are back training at Darsley Park as they prepare to return to competitive action. The Magpies have also had five players out in Qatar competing at the World Cup over the past month.
Kieran Trippier, Callum Wilson, Nick Pope, Bruno Guimaraes and Fabian Schar’s tournaments may be over, but it’s a quick turnaround for Eddie Howe’s side as they return to competitive action in the Carabao Cup against Bournemouth on Tuesday (7:45pm kick-off). On Wednesday, it was confirmed that Trippier and Wilson had quickly returned to training with the rest of the squad.
The following day, Guimaraes confirmed his return via an Instagram post. Schar and Pope have been given extra time off but are expected to join up with the squad very soon.
All five of Newcastle’s World Cup representatives had limited game time at the World Cup with Trippier and Schar starting two games apiece while Wilson and Guimaraes were limited to substitute appearances. Pope didn’t get on the pitch as Jordan Pickford remained in goal for England throughout the tournament.
Howe admitted the players were ‘keen’ to come back and play for the club but couldn’t guarantee whether any would be available for the upcoming Bournemouth match.
Howe said: "Speaking to all the players, I know they're very keen to come back and join us very quickly, but of course, we have to have the balance right. We don't want to fatigue players mentally probably more than physically going into the second half of the season.
"At some stage, we will probably need to give them a break. When that is, I don't know."
Before hosting Bournemouth, Newcastle will play a friendly match against La Liga side Rayo Vallecano at St James's Park this Saturday (12:30pm kick-off). It will be United’s second friendly match this month after they beat Al Hilal 5-0 during their warm weather training camp in Saudi Arabia.
Howe’s side currently sit third in the Premier League after 15 matches but haven’t played a competitive match since beating Chelsea 1-0 on November 12. United's next league match is at Leicester City on Boxing Day (3pm kick-off).