EDDIE HOWE has admitted it will be impossible to make a ‘like-for-like’ switch to cover for Bruno Guimaraes’ absence in today’s game at Bournemouth.

Guimaraes will not be involved in the teatime showdown at the Vitality Stadium after picking up his fifth booking of the season in last weekend’s 1-0 win over Arsenal.

Newcastle’s midfield resources are already stretched with Sandro Tonali suspended for the rest of the season after breaching gambling rules and Elliot Anderson sidelined because of a back problem.

Joelinton could play as Newcastle’s deepest-lying midfielder today, having filled the position in the Carabao Cup win over Manchester United, or Sean Longstaff could play in a more central role with Joelinton and Joe Willock either side of him.

Alternatively, if Joelinton or Willock are needed further up the field, Howe could turn to teenager Lewis Miley, who returned from an illness absence as a second-half substitute in Tuesday’s Champions League defeat to Borussia Dortmund.

Whatever Howe chooses, however, he concedes the make-up of his midfield will inevitably be upset by the absence of Guimaraes.

“I don’t think you can replace Bruno with another Bruno,” admitted Howe. “He’s very unique. He’s got unique qualities, and I think he’s done very well this season.


“We will replace him with someone else with different qualities, but who can still be a very effective player for us. I believe we can cope with is absence, but it will be hard because he’s such a big player for us.”

Miley is now fully recovered from a bout of glandular fever, and Howe was impressed with the way the 17-year-old handled himself when he was introduced onto the Champions League stage in midweek.

“I think Lewis is going to have a prominent role in our future,” said the Magpies boss. “I think you saw in Dortmund, the way he came into the game for someone so young was hugely impressive.

“At that moment, we were obviously trying to chase the game, but chase the game intelligently, and I thought he did that really well. I thought he used the ball and physically he looked really god after his illness. I was really pleased with him.”

Willock is also likely to have a more prominent role now he has completed his return to full fitness, with Howe also having been delighted with his showing in Dortmund despite the final result going against his side.

“I thought Joe was very good,” he said. “I think he has done excellently to have the same characteristics that he had before his injury which are big running stats, a big athletic load, speed, quality on the ball - he's had all of those in his small cameos that he's had.

“He had 75 minutes the other night, which will have done him the world of good as well.”