Newcastle United have a chance to put further daylight between themselves and the relegation zone when they welcome Aston Villa to St James’ Park in the Premier League on Wednesday.
Steve Bruce’s side opened up an 11 point gap from the bottom three with a comfortable 3-0 win over Sheffield United on Sunday.
Aston Villa meanwhile didn’t get the 3 points they so desperately needed, conceding twice in just 60 seconds against Chelsea in a 1-2 defeat – a loss which leaves them second from bottom and 2 points from safety.
Villa boss Dean Smith has suggested star man Jack Grealish may need to find alternative ways to influence the game – the talismanic midfielder has been fouled 140 times this season to date, the most for any one player since Premier League records began over 20 years ago.
Despite the nature of the statistic, the robust Grealish is likely to start, but the same can’t be said for Bjorn Engels and Frederic Guilbert, with the duo joining Wesley and Tom Heaton on the treatment table.
Chelsea loanee Danny Drinkwater is stepping up his return to fitness, but it’s unlikely he’ll be available for Villa against Newcastle.
Magpies boss Steve Bruce has been engulfed in an injury crisis for what feels like the entire season, but his wounded are slowly starting to return to fitness, with siblings Matty and Sean Longstaff the only predicted absentees.
Joelinton will retain his starting berth up front, after ending his 6-month wait for a Premier League goal at the weekend.
Newcastle United v Aston Villa at St James’ Park is a 6pm kick off on Wednesday, June 24.