'Outstanding' Newcastle United star set to start v Chelsea after missing one game

Newcastle United are set to welcome Bruno Guimaraes back into their starting XI.
Newcastle United midfielder Bruno Guimaraes with Eddie Howe after win over Paris Saint-Germain. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)Newcastle United midfielder Bruno Guimaraes with Eddie Howe after win over Paris Saint-Germain. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Newcastle United midfielder Bruno Guimaraes with Eddie Howe after win over Paris Saint-Germain. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Bruno Guimaraes is in line for an immediate return to Newcastle United's starting XI against Chelsea this afternoon (kick-off 3pm).

The Brazilian picked up his fifth Premier League yellow card of the season during the 1-0 victory at home to Arsenal, which forced him to serve a one-match suspension at AFC Bournemouth.

And the 26-year-old's absence was certainly felt as the Magpies, also without a number of players through injury, lost 2-0 at the Vitality Stadium.

Newcastle United midfielder Bruno Guimaraes with Eddie Howe after win over Paris Saint-Germain. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)Newcastle United midfielder Bruno Guimaraes with Eddie Howe after win over Paris Saint-Germain. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Newcastle United midfielder Bruno Guimaraes with Eddie Howe after win over Paris Saint-Germain. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Guimaraes linked up with Brazil during the international break and started both their defeats to Colombia & Argentina before returning to Tyneside on Thursday in preparation for Chelsea.

Given United are yet to record a Premier League win without Guimaraes since he made his full debut in March 2022, the midfielder is the first name on the teamsheet.

"He’s an outstanding player," said Howe at Friday's pre-match press conference. "You’re always going to miss a player of his technical ability, enthusiasm and I think he’s a real catalyst for us with the supporters as well. You take that player away and I think there is a big hole.

"The other added thing for us is we’re missing Sandro [Tonali] and we were stretched against Bournemouth so I think that hole was even deeper for that game. But him coming back into the squad is a massive lift, we've certainly missed him.” 

Aside from injuries, Newcastle are without Sandro Tonali, who is banned until August 2024 because of illegal betting activity, and Lewis Hall.

Hall started back-to-back games before the break but is ineligible to face parent club Chelsea.

The 19-year-old is currently on a season-long loan from Stamford Bridge, a deal that will become permanent next summer.

Asked about Hall, Howe said: “I’d say that understanding is improving all the time. His commitment to his training and all the work that he’s done behind the scenes has been really good. He’s a talented young player, for sure.

"He’s got a beautiful left foot and a high level of technical ability. He’s a player of really high potential. There are a few areas of his game that need smoothing and improving but that is no different to any other young player. But we really do believe in him."