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Eddie Howe confirms midfielder injury worry ahead of Manchester United vs Newcastle Carabao final

Newcastle United Head Coach Eddie Howe speaks during the Newcastle United Press Conference at The Newcastle United Training Centre in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe has confirmed that midfielder Joe Willock faces a battle to be fit in time for Sunday’s Carabao Cup final against Manchester United at Wembley.

Newcastle United are sweating over the availability of Joe Willock ahead of Sunday’s Carabao Cup final. (Getty Images)

The Magpies are currently preparing for their first final since they finished runners-up to Man United in the 1998-99 FA Cup.

Howe already has to deal with a goalkeeping dilemma after Nick Pope was shown a straight red card for handling the ball outside the area in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Liverpool.

The midfielder missed Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Liverpool after being forced off during a 1-1 draw with Bournemouth a week earlier.

Joe Willock Carabao final
The midfielder was forced off shortly before half-time at the Vitality Stadium with a muscular problem. (Getty Images)

He was, as a result, ruled out of the weekend’s defeat to Liverpool and now faces a race against time to be fit for Sunday’s Wembley showdown with United.

Willock has been an integral part of Newcastle squad this season, making 29 appearances in all competitions, scoring two goals.(Getty Images)

“Joe Willock will probably be touch and go during the week,” said Howe. “He’s improved, (it will) probably be a late decision on him.”

Although Newcastle face an anxious wait on Willock’s availability, they will be buoyed by the return of fellow midfielder Bruno Guimaraes. He has missed the last three matches through suspension and is expected to walk straight back into the starting line-up.

Joelinton also seemed to be struggling with a hamstring issue when he was withdrawn in the second half at the weekend, but Howe is confident that the 26-year-old will be fit for the final.



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