Newcastle United team news: Callum Wilson returns against Arsenal as Steve Bruce calls up Elliot Anderson
Callum Wilson will return to Newcastle United’s starting XI against Arsenal this afternoon.
The striker last started a game on February 6, when he suffered a hamstring injury against Southampton. However, Wilson, after three appearances off the bench, was declared full fit by United head coach Steve Bruce ahead of the game at St James’s Park.
And the 29-year-old has replaced Joelinton in the starting XI, while Matt Ritchie (calf) has passed a late fitness test.
Loanee Joe Willock, meanwhile, is ineligible to play against his parent club. The 21-year-old midfielder has scored on his last three appearances, most recently in last weekend’s 1-1 draw against Liverpool at Anfield.
Matty Longstaff and 18-year-old Elliot Anderson are named on the bench for 17th-placed Newcastle along with Fabian Schar, who has recovered from knee surgery. The defender made his comeback in an Under-23 game in the week.
United are nine points ahead of third-bottom Fulham, beaten 2-0 by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge yesterday, after taking eight points from a possible 12 last month.
Bruce said in the matchday programme: “It’s a relentless league, but if we can maintain our current levels for the final five matches, I know we can finish the campaign well.”
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Dubravka; Murphy, Fernandez, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie; Almiron, Shelvey, S Longstaff; Saint-Maximin, Wilson. Subs: Gillespie, M Longstaff, Schar, Joelinton, Gayle, Lewis, Hendrick, Krafth, Anderson.
ARSENAL: Ryan; Bellerin, Luiz, Gabriel, Xhaka; Elneny, Ceballos; Willian, Odegaard, Martinelli; Aubameyang. Subs: Leno, Saka, Cedric, Partey, Pepe, Chambers, Mari, Nketiah, Smith Rowe.