Eddie Howe expects to have Callum Wilson back for Saturday’s Premier League clash against Chelsea. The Newcastle United striker was left out of the squad that beat Crystal Palace on penalties in the Carabao Cup last night due to illness.
The 30-year-old started the 4-1 win against Southampton at the weekend but did not re-emerge for the second half after feeling unwell. With United entertaining Palace just three days later, Howe decided it was best to leave Wilson out.
Chris Wood, after scoring at St Mary’s on Sunday, led the line in his absence and dispatched his spot-kick in the shootout as the Magpies progressed into the last 16 of the competition.
Howe now turns his focus back to the league, with the visit of Chelsea to St James’ Park the club’s last game before the five-and-a-half week Qatar World Cup break - and Wilson is likely to return.
“Callum, I didn’t want to risk with his illness and depleted immune system, so he should be fine,” Howe explained. By the time Wilson takes to the field on Saturday, he will know whether or not he is heading to the World Cup alongside Kieran Trippier and Nick Pope. Gareth Southgate names his 26-man England squad today at 2pm.
Howe said: “We want to develop players and progress their careers, so playing in World Cups in very important to all the international players, not just the English guys. We’re very proud regardless of who they play for. We’re keeping their fingers crossed for them tomorrow and I hope they can make it.”
Meanwhile, Howe revealed Ryan Fraser missed the Palace match due to injury. The Scotland international hasn’t started a game for United since September. “Ryan’s got a calf problem,” Howe said. “I’m not sure how serious that is. I think everyone else has hopefully come through OK.”
Fraser joins Alexander Isak, Matt Ritchie, Paul Dummett and Emil Krafth in the list of players currently sidelined through injury.