Newcastle United’s injury concerns - and what potential absences will mean for Steve Bruce & Co

Newcastle United head into their fifth Premier League game of the season looking for their first win - but injuries look set to potentially damage their preparations ahead of Friday night’s Leeds United visit.

Injuries. An inevitability in football and one any Premier League squad should be able to deal with, right?

Well, just four games into the season and Newcastle United’s squad is already creaking.

Here we take a look at the players who may miss out - and what their absence would likely mean for the starting XI.

Who is definitely OUT for NUFC?

Goalkeeper Martin Dubravka remains sidelined having suffered a ankle injury in the summer. Bruce, around three weeks ago, pencilled in a mid-October return date for the Slovakian. It remains to be seen whether that likely return date has been revised.

Meanwhile, Callum Wilson is almost certain to miss this weekend with a quad problem.

Callum Wilson of Newcastle United battles for possession with Mohammed Salisu of Southampton during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Southampton at St. James Park on August 28, 2021 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

Which players are rated as doubtful?

Newcastle United have injury concerns over a number of players heading into the weekend with Javier Manquillo, Ciaran Clark and Joe Willock all adding their names to the list, having picked up knocks against Manchester United.

Outside of that, Isaac Hayden and Karl Darlow appear to be fit, having stepped up their returns last time out.

Paul Dummett is a player who continues to be sidelined.

News is also awaited on the fitness of Ryan Fraser.

What any potential absences may mean for Bruce’s starting XI?

While Dubravka and Wilson remain out, the latter replaced up top by Joelinton, the loss of Willock may well prove to be the toughest to paper over for Bruce.

Should the £25million man be out, then it is likely to see Jeff Hendrick brought back into the fray.

If Clark and Manquillo don’t make it then that’s likely to see Federico Fernandez brought back in and Jacob Murphy swiftly restored on the right-hand side.

Is Bruce likely to make any unenforced changes?

The goalkeeper spot is the cause of most debate this week, with Darlow a potential returnee, at the expense of Freddie Woodman.

Outside of that, it will be interesting to see if Bruce switches up his backline, with midfielder Hayden used in a three at Old Trafford and Clark and Lascelles struggling alongside him.