Fri 15 Sept 2023, 10:35 by NUFC News

Tonali unlikely to face Brentford, but Botman and Anderson set to be available

Tonali unlikely to face Brentford, but Botman and Anderson set to be available
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Sandro Tonali looks set to miss Saturday's home game with Brentford and is facing a race against time to be fit for an emotional return to AC Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday evening.

The Italian midfielder has returned from international duty with a "slight thigh strain" that Eddie Howe described as "nothing serious or too long" in his Friday morning press conference.

While the head coach hasn't completed ruled Tonali out of featuring against the Bees, it would be a shock to see him anywhere other than on the bench. Muscle injuries are often treated with extreme caution by the club's medical staff, and for good reason.

Sean Longstaff looks set to deputise for Tonali on the right side of Howe's three-man central midfield, though the 25-year-old Geordie was probably in with a shout of a start regardless due to Tonali's recent poor form.

In better news, Sven Botman seems to be fit to return to the heart of the defence alongside Fabian Schär having taken part in full training this week. This should see Dan Burn returning to his preferred left-back slot.

Unsurprisingly, Elliot Anderson is also totally fine after pulling out of international duty with Scotland due to "injury". The 20-year-old midfielder has also been in full training and will be in the squad.

Otherwise, it appears as though the squad has come through the international break unscathed. Miguel Almirón, Bruno Guimarães, and Joelinton all made it back from South America in good time due to the club chartering a private jet for them.

Elsewhere, Schär, Martin Dúbravka, Alexander Isak, Kieran Trippier, and Callum Wilson reported no ill effects after featuring for Switzerland, Slovakia, Sweden, and England, respectively.

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