Thu 28 Mar 2024, 09:59 · Ash Harrison

Eddie Howe sweating on the fitness of three key players ahead of West Ham on Saturday

Eddie Howe sweating on the fitness of three key players ahead of West Ham on Saturday
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Newcastle United host West Ham United on Saturday lunchtime, live on TNT Sport - 12:30pm Kick-off.

Youngster Lewis Miley was the only fresh casualty over the international break with the likelihood being that his back injury may well have prematurely ended his season.

Newcastle also had a trio of big players missing before the break who were expected to be back for Saturday's match. We're still not sure whether they'll be returning to action against West Ham as all three were suspiciously absent from the training gallery put out by the club yesterday.

As always, though, if Eddie Howe can hide whether a player will be returning from injury so he can keep the opposition guessing, he's always going to do that.

Kieran trippier 2
Trippier was expected to be back in action after the international break

Trippier, Livramento and Barnes were all expected to return after the international break

The trio in question are Kieran Trippier, Tino Livramento and Harvey Barnes all of whom were expected to return to action following the international break.

The Premier League Injury table doesn't give much away just yet either having Barnes and Trippier still down as "ruled out" with Livramento being 50/50.

Eddie Howe will face the media in the morning and we may get more information then, but let's be honest, it's like getting blood from a stone at times.


A win on Saturday would set off the run in perfectly

To even have just one of those three players back would be a big boost going into the key match on Saturday. West Ham are currently four points ahead of the Magpies and a win on Saturday would be a big step to catching them in the league and stealing a European spot.

Newcastle have been adjudged to have the "easiest" run in of all the other teams in the league based on the average points of the remaining sides they face. It works out as playing the 14th-placed side each game. It means nothing in reality, but psychologically it could be huge.

Let's start off the run in with a win over West Ham and ride that confidence boost all the way to May.