Newcastle United injury doubt as duo ruled out of Sela Cup —one week before Aston Villa

Newcastle United central defender Fabian Schar. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)Newcastle United central defender Fabian Schar. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
Newcastle United central defender Fabian Schar. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images) | Getty Images
Newcastle United injury news ahead the Sela Cup double-header against Fiorentina and Villarreal.

Newcastle United will be forced to make a late call on Fabian Schar’s fitness ahead of this weekend’s Sela Cup.

Eddie Howe’s side host Fiorentina on Saturday (3:30pm kick-off) and Villarreal on Sunday (4pm kick-off) at St James’ Park with Eddie Howe likely to field two different starting XIs ahead of next weekend’s Premier League opener against Aston Villa.

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Schar hasn’t featured since picking up a hamstring injury in the first half of United’s 1-1 draw against Chelsea at the Premier League Summer Series in the United States. Meanwhile, Joe Willock (hamstring) and Emil Krafth (ACL) haven’t kicked a ball in pre-season while Sean Longstaff missed all three matches in the US because of a groin injury.

Newcastle United central defender Fabian Schar. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)Newcastle United central defender Fabian Schar. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
Newcastle United central defender Fabian Schar. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images) | Getty Images

“We don’t have a totally fit squad,” Howe explained. “Fabian Schar, we’re going to make a late decision on whether he’s involved in the games over the weekend. Certainly, he’s very close, so that’s a positive thing.

“Joe Willock won’t be involved in either game as he’s still working his way back to full fitness. Emil Krafth won’t be involved. We hope he’ll [Sean Longstaff] be involved.”

United have played against Gateshead, Rangers, Aston Villa. Chelsea and Brighton & Hove Albion but return to home turf for the first time since securing Champions League qualification with a goalless draw versus Leicester City.

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“It’s going to be great to be back home,” said Howe. It’s been a long time since we played at St. James’ Park, that’s what it feels, so it’s great to be back and looking forward to the two games.

“We’re expecting tough opposition. Fiorentina got to the final of the Europa Conference League and were well placed in Serie A and that’s what we want in both games. We want tough examinations.

“If you look at our pre-season fixtures, they are probably as hard as you can get with the purpose of preparing ourselves for the tough start we have.”

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