“Harmy, I know you just touched on Carroll coming back in, this could be the ideal game because as we know Stones is playing,” said Carroll on talkSPORT (8:36am, Thursday, November 28th).
“And he doesn’t like to be roughed up, so I think it might be an opportunity as how long do you go without putting Andy in the team, to find out what he can give us?”
Carver is right to state that it’s a safe bet that Stones will line up for Man City against the Magpies on Saturday as the centre-back, who earns £100,000-a-week at the club (Source: Spotrac), as he has played every minute of his side’s last four league games.
The former Magpies coach is also right to suggest that the defender doesn’t enjoy players who rough him up as he famously got robbed off the ball during England’s 3-1 loss to the Dutch in the Nations League final, due to being easily brushed off. (Source: The Sun)
And while at times he may be able to cope with a striker getting physical with him, Andy Carroll is one of the best in the league when it comes to putting a defender under that sort of pressure, so is likely Stones could get exposed by him.
As it’s not by accident that the veteran has registered 300 fouls in his 218 Premier League appearances. (Source: Premier League)
The 30-year-old, who stands at 6ft 4in tall (Source: Transfermarkt), has been known to bully a defender or two in his time and has always shown how dominant he can be in that department this season.
Carroll may be on the fringes of the Magpies squad and has been used sparingly, he’s only played 124 minutes of league action, but on average he has won three aerial duels per game. (Source: WhoScored)
In fact, only Joelinton has been able to dominate more in the air than Carroll for the Magpies, and he has way more minutes to rack up more aerial duels as he has featured for 1046 minutes. (Source: WhoScored)
While Carroll’s limited minutes may be enforced, his injury record speaks for itself, it doesn’t mean Carver is any less right to suggest Carroll should go toe-to-toe with Stones on Saturday as it could work in the Magpies’ favour.