Newcastle United duo Matt Ritchie and Ciaran Clark are both in line to start against Leicester City on Wednesday, according to the Shields Gazette.
The newspaper claims that both international stars are likely to play from the first whistle in the Carabao Cup clash, with injury problems in abundance for Steve Bruce.
Clark is likely to benefit from knocks to centre halves Jamaal Lascelles and Fabian Schar, while it’s thought that Ritchie may well face a change of position.
The Scotland international is expected to move forward to the left hand side of the midfield from left wing back, with winger Allan Saint-Maximin sidelined.
It would be a big surprise if someone like Clark didn’t come into the team on Wednesday. With Schar and Lascelles doubtful, you would expect the Republic of Ireland international and Federico Fernandez to replace them and join Paul Dummett – who was superb against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday – in the three-man central defensive unit that Bruce has fielded so far this term. That seems like a no brainer for an early-round Carabao Cup tie like this one. As for the Ritchie one, that’s something that makes sense, as well. Saint-Maximin came off injured at The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and so he won’t be playing on Wednesday, and so his position will need to be filled. The thing is, Christian Atsu was terrific deputising for the Frenchman on Sunday. Surely he’s done enough to start on the left hand side against the Foxes. However, perhaps Miguel Almiron will be rested and Atsu and Ritchie played in support of the lone frontman.