Newcastle set to be without nine players for Liverpool clash

Newcastle are set to be without as many as nine first-team stars for their trip to Anfield on New Year's Day.

Eddie Howe's side come into the fixture in a run of terrible form, with their 3-1 defeat to Nottingham Forest on Boxing Day their eighth loss in 12 in all competitions.

After an impressive 2022/23 campaign in which they qualified for the Champions League, Newcastle have struggled this season and have been one of the most injury-hit sides in the Premier League.

The Magpies currently have nine first-team players out of action and their crisis is unlikely to improve before the visit to Liverpool on Monday, with manager Howe admitting none of his currently absent stars are expected back for the clash at Anfield.

“Of course, we’ve suffered the injuries we’ve had and those players you see aren’t available… I don’t think anyone is coming back in the next few days,” Howe told reporters after the defeat to Forest on Tuesday.

Nick Pope, Harvey Barnes, Joe Willock, Jacob Murphy, Elliot Anderson, Javier Manquillo and Matt Targett are all long-term absentees, while club captain Jamaal Lascelles – who came off in the 1-0 defeat to Luton – is also likely to be out.

Sandro Tonali is the other senior player set to miss the game, as he serves a ten-month ban for breaches of betting rules.

Newcastle were able to welcome back Joelinton on Boxing Day, with the Brazilian fit again after a hamstring injury.

Liverpool head into the game with their own fitness concerns.

Defenders Andy Robertson, Joel Matip and Kostas Tsimikas all remain out, as are midfielders Stefan Bajcetic and Thiago.

Alexis Mac Allister is the Reds' other major doubt for the fixture, with updates on his status eagerly awaited.

The Argentine hasn't featured since the win over Sheffield United earlier this month when he sustained a deep cut to his knee.

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