Wolves boss confirms 188-goal star will miss Newcastle United match
Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Julen Lopetegui has assessed Newcastle United ahead of Sunday’s match at St James’ Park (4:30pm kick-off).
Newcastle will be hoping to bounce back from consecutive Premier League defeats when they host Wolves this weekend. Lopetegui’s side will be confident heading into the match having beaten United’s Champions League qualification rivals Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 last weekend.
Striker Diego Costa was withdrawn during the win over Spurs and will now miss the Newcastle match.
Lopetegui confirmed in his pre-match press conference on Friday: “Diego Costa will be out.He suffered an injury in the last match.
“Fortunately it is not a severe injury but he will be out for, I don’t know, for maybe two, three or four weeks.”
Costa signed for Wolves as a free agent earlier this season. The 34-year-old former Chelsea and Atletico Madrid striker has enjoyed a productive career having scored 188 goals at club level – but he is yet to find the net for Wolves in 16 appearances.
Newcastle United one of the ‘best in the Premier League’
Newcastle have lost their last three matches in all competitions by the same 2-0 scoreline. But Lopetegui is expecting a tough test against Eddie Howe’s side at St James’ Park, labelling them among the best in the Premier League.
“I think we will play against one of the stronger teams in the Premier League,” said the Wolves boss.
“They have a fantastic squad. Newcastle have very good players, top players, a very good coach. They play with one very clear style, with and without the ball.
“I love to see them. I feel they have been one of the best in the Premier League [this season].
“They are ready to fight for the Champions League [places]. But in the same way, we are going to go there with ambition.
“We are thinking we are able to compete with them, to beat them. This is our aim but it is going to be a hard match, a very exciting match I think.”
Lopetegui also acknowledged former Newcastle manager Sir Bobby Robson.
“I was very lucky because Bobby was my manager at Barcelona, with Mourinho helping him," he continued.
“He was one of the best coaches in the history of England. He was a fantastic man and I have good memories of him.”