Newcastle United sweating on player’s fitness as Eddie Howe hopes to welcome back winger v Manchester City

Eddie Howe is preparing to make a late fitness call ahead of Newcastle United’s match against Manchester City at St James’s Park this Sunday (4:30pm kick-off).

The Newcastle head coach was without several players for the goalless draw at Brighton & Hove Albion last weekend.

Ryan Fraser (back), Matt Targett (hamstring), Emil Krafth (back), Federico Fernandez (calf) and Jonjo Shelvey (hamstring) were among the absentees.

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But Howe is hopeful of welcoming at least one player back against City this weekend.

Ryan Fraser of Newcastle United during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Nottingham Forest at St. James Park on August 06, 2022 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
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“Ryan, we hope, will be fit and available,” the Newcastle head coach said in his pre-match press conference. “He had a back spasm late last week so he was a late withdrawal from the [Brighton] game.

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"He’s trained this week and Matt, we’ll make a very late decision. Other than that I think we’re okay.”

Targett’s absence last weekend saw Dan Burn cover at left-back with summer signing Sven Botman making his full debut as a left-sided centre-back.