Newcastle United to make ‘late call’ on key man ahead of Manchester City clash

The latest on the Newcastle United injury front ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash with Manchester City at St James’ Park.

Newcastle United will make a late call on Matt Targett’s availability for Sunday’s Premier League clash with Manchester City.

The Magpies summer signing missed the 0-0 draw at Brighton and Hove Albion last weekend with a dead leg.

Dan Burn was switched to left-back, with Sven Botman making his full league debut alongside Fabian Schar in central defence.

“Matt, we’ll make a very late decision,” Howe told reporters.

Newcastle player Matt Targett in action during the Pre Season friendly match between Newcastle United and Atalanta at St James' Park on July 29, 2022 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

In other news, the United head coach hopes to have Ryan Fraser back in contention. He too was absent from the trip to the South Coast.

“Ryan, we hope, will be fit and available,” Howe said. He had a back spasm late last week, so was a late withdrawal from the game. He’s trained this week.”

Howe’s side host Premier League champions Manchester City having lost 4-0 to Pep Guardiola’s men at St James’ Park before shipping five goals at the Etihad Stadium.

On the Man City tie, Howe said: “We’d love a very good performance. We’d love a result to match that performance.

“This is the ultimate test for me, these games against Manchester City, Liverpool - they’re the real parameter of our quality. We want to narrow that gap between us and the top teams in the division.

“Last year, the results were hard on us against Manchester City. I thought they were tighter than they looked on paper, and they don’t look good on paper. The games were difficult, both different, but the home game last year, there was bits of our performance that was very, very good.

“But you need a bit of luck, need to be clinical and in the two games, we probably weren’t.”