Newcastle United handed triple injury boost ahead of Premier League opener v Aston Villa

Newcastle United midfielder Sean Longstaff.  (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)Newcastle United midfielder Sean Longstaff.  (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
Newcastle United midfielder Sean Longstaff. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images) | Getty Images
Newcastle United have been handed a triple injury boost.

Newcastle United trio Sean Longstaff, Javier Manquillo and Emil Krafth have been pictured in training ahead of this weekend’s Sela Cup tournament at St James’ Park.

Longstaff started both of the Magpies’ opening pre-season friendly wins against Gateshead and Rangers but played no part in the Premier League Summer Series in the United States due to a “niggly injury”.

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However, the 25-year-old, who was a regular pick and an unsung hero in Eddie Howe’s three-man midfield last season, is on course to return for the double-header against Fiorentina and Villarreal.

Newcastle United midfielder Sean Longstaff.  (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)Newcastle United midfielder Sean Longstaff.  (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
Newcastle United midfielder Sean Longstaff. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Meanwhile, Manquillo was also spotted in the club’s training gallery. Although he featured against Aston Villa in Philadelphia, the Spaniard missed games versus Chelsea and Brighton and Hove Albion.

And in a welcome sight to all, Krafth has returned to the Darsley Park training pitch with his teammates for the first time since sustaining an ACL injury last August.

That said, the weekend is likely to come too soon for the Sweden international as Newcastle’s medics proceed with caution to ensure the right-back avoids any recurrence.

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Similar to matches against Chelsea and Brighton last week, Howe is set to field two different starting XIs. United face Fiorentina at 3:30pm on Saturday before taking on Villarreal just over 24 hours later (kick-off 4pm).

The tournament format will see teams awarded three points for a win, one point for a draw and an additional point per goal scored. French club Nice are also involved, while Newcastle United Women host West Bromwich Albion Women.

“These games could easily be a rehearsal for the Champions League,” said Howe. “We’re playing high-class opposition, teams that have been successful in Europe.

“It’s a festival of football. You’re seeing different teams, including the men’s and ladies’ team. Both teams will be fiercely driven to do well and play well for the supporters and represent the club with real pride and honour.”

A week later, Howe’s side host Aston Villa in their Premier League opener.

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