Thu 4 Jan 2024, 10:27 by Ash Harrison

Report: £12m Newcastle man in race against time to be fit for Saturday's derby

Report: £12m Newcastle man in race against time to be fit for Saturday's derby
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Every game seems massive for Newcastle United at the minute while this run of poor form continues but Saturday has a different kind of pressure with it.

The FA Cup third round fixture sees Newcastle take on their old foe Sunderland in the first Wear-Tyne derby in seven years.

When the draw was announced Newcastle fans were jubilant, the feeling was that the Magpies would steamroll their bitter rivals, but since then, Newcastle have lost seven out of eight games in all competitions and dropped out of the Champions League and Carabao Cup. Amongst those defeats were losses to two relegation candidates. Things aren't exactly in our favour.

Sunderland v Newcastle will be shown on ITV on Saturday

So now there is some trepidation going into the tie which kicks off at 12:45pm on Saturday live on ITV.

Callum Wilson
Getty Images
Callum Wilson is expected to miss most of January through injury

Newcastle's nerves aren't helped by the mountain of injuries with Callum Wilson now on the sidelines and expected to miss most of January. Harvey Barnes, Elliot Anderson, Joe Willock and Jacob Murphy all remain absent too, and Kieran Trippier is also potentially going to miss the game.

Although, now The Northern Echo has claimed that the £12million signing from Atletico Madrid is hoping to return to training this week in order to be available on Saturday.

Having Trippier back would be very handy for this game

If that is the case, you'd expect he'd only make the bench as a couple of days of training won't be enough to warrant a start in what will no doubt be a very high-tempo game.

As much as we've been laying into Trippier on this site lately for his poor performances, Saturday is one of those games where his experience and leadership would be crucial, so we really hope he can shake off this groin issue and get himself back in contention - we just hope it doesn't come at the expense of his long-term fitness like Joe Willock and Jacob Murphy.

I wasn't this nervous for the Carabao Cup final!

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