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Covid-19 still having an impact on Newcastle squad ahead of Cambridge cup clash

Eddie Howe File Photo
(Image credit: Richard Sellers)

Newcastle will head into Saturday’s FA Cup third-round tie against League One Cambridge with Covid-19 still having an impact on their squad.

The Magpies’ Premier League fixtures against Everton and Southampton were postponed because of an outbreak within the camp and while he did not identify the players involved – defender Ciaran Clark and midfielders Joe Willock and Matt Ritchie were missing from the squad for the 1-1 draw with Manchester United on December 27 – head coach Eddie Howe has admitted there will be absences once again this weekend.

New signing Kieran Trippier could be included for the first time, but striker Callum Wilson is due to undergo a further scan to determine the extent of his calf injury, while midfielder Isaac Hayden is expected to be sidelined for 10 weeks after undergoing knee surgery.

Full-back Jamal Lewis (hamstring) and central defender Federico Fernandez (thigh) are working their way back to full fitness and Paul Dummett (calf) is also closing in on a return.

Cambridge will be without winger Sam Smith through suspension.

The 23-year-old was sent off for a second bookable offence during Monday’s 0-0 league draw with Portsmouth and will serve a one-match ban as a result, with Jack Lankester and Harvey Knibbs among those who could replace him.

Head coach Mark Bonner has indicated he will otherwise have a similar squad available as he had for the Pompey game, which was the club’s first since December 18 because of coronavirus.

Few members of Bonner’s squad have played at St James’ Park previously with the notable exception of 39-year-old former Norwich midfielder Wes Hoolahan.

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