Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe issues Allan Saint-Maximin fitness update ahead of Chelsea

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Allan Saint-Maximin came through his 90-minute Carabao Cup stint unscathed.

For the first time since late August, Eddie Howe named Saint-Maximin in his starting XI against Crystal Palace last night, and the Newcastle United winger helped the club progress to the fourth round. Howe’s team won a penalty shootout after drawing 0-0 with Patrick Vieira’s side at St James’s Park for a second time this season.

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Howe was keen for Saint-Maximin – who had made two appearances off the bench after recovering from a hamstring injury – to play the full game ahead of Saturday’s Premier League home fixture against Chelsea.

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Asked about the 25-year-old’s first 90-minute run-out since August 21, United's head coach said: “He needed it. Maxi’s had a long time out, and been one of those who hasn’t had a lot of football, or even a lot of training time.

"I wanted to leave him on the pitch, and get that time into his legs that will benefit him so much.”