- Botman set to be out for two more weeks
- Lascelles has impressed but Dutchman’s absence a blow
- Newcastle face Dortmund test followed by tough trip to Wolves
Newcastle United’s Sven Botman is set to remain sidelined for at least another fortnight as he continues his recovery from a knee injury. This setback meant Botman was absent from the Newcastle squad during their commanding 4-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday in the Premier League.
Botman not expected to return until November
The Dutch centre-half has been out of action since the impressive 8-0 triumph against Sheffield United and subsequently did not join the Netherlands national team for international duty this week. Initially, there was hope that he might return shortly after the international break, but this is no longer the case.
Regrettably, Botman will not be available for the upcoming Champions League clash with Borussia Dortmund or the Premier League fixture against Wolves next weekend. Additionally, he is expected to miss the Carabao Cup fourth-round match against Manchester United at the beginning of the following month.
Manager Eddie Howe provided an update on Botman’s progress, stating, “Sven wasn’t close today. I couldn’t really say that in the build-up to the game, but he hasn’t trained with us yet. He’s got a bit of a way to go. We’re hopeful it won’t be too long, but he certainly won’t be available in the next couple of weeks.”
Despite Botman’s absence, Newcastle United’s spirits were lifted with a four-goal win over Crystal Palace, catapulting them back into the Premier League‘s top six. Howe commended his players for their performance, emphasising the challenges posed by matches following an international break, especially for those players who had extensive commitments with their respective national teams.
It was acknowledged that Crystal Palace, known for their defensive resilience, presented a difficult opponent. Prior to Saturday, the Eagles had only conceded 18 goals since the return of Roy Hodgson in March. And last season, the three matches between the two clubs finished goalless, though United won the EFL Cup tie on penalties.Howe noted the significance of securing the first goal early in the game and expressed relief that his team achieved this objective.
Botman was a hugely important player for Newcastle last season and has been excellent this time round. His absence in the defeat at Brighton in early September was held up as a reason for Howe’s side, uncharacteristically, shipping three goals. However, in the five matches United have played since the Dutchman’s latest injury they have won four and drawn one, conceding only three goals, with club captain Jamaal Lascelles deputising superbly and Fabian Schar excelling. The club’s longest serving player, Paul Dummett also came in for a rare start in the EFL Cup and did well.
Though it has to be said, that two of those goals came in the draw with West Ham, where Botman’s presence and assurance might have made enough difference to see the Magpies hang on to all three points despite looking slightly jaded. Bettors need to assess whether Botman’s absence will be more keenly felt as the fixtures come thick and fast over the next few weeks.
At the time of writing, despite Howe all but confirming Botman’s absence, and with Summer signing Sandro Tonali possibly facing suspension soon, the bookies are tipping them to do well in their next two matches. At the time of writing, BetUK make them 4/5 favourites to win at Wolves in the Premier League on Saturday, while bet365 make the Geordies 8/11 favourites to beat Dortmund at St James’ Park in the Champions League on Wednesday.
After their recent run of seven wins and a draw in their last eight in all competitions, most UK bookies have Howe’s side as fifth favourites to both win the Premier League and to claim a top four finish.
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