ANTHONY GORDON and Alexander Isak are both set to miss Newcastle United’s weekend game with Nottingham Forest – but Callum Wilson is ready to return to the starting line-up at the City Ground.

Gordon has been unable to train this week after suffering an ankle injury that led to him leaving St James’ Park with his foot in a protective boot, and while Eddie Howe remains hopeful he has not suffered any long-term damage, he is extremely unlikely to feature tomorrow teatime.

Isak was forced to sit out last weekend’s 4-4 draw with Luton because of a groin issue, and the Swede remains unavailable ahead of the weekend.

“Anthony hasn’t trained this week,” revealed Howe. “We don’t think the injury is serious, and we’re hoping he’ll be back sooner rather than later, although at this moment, it’s not really clear when he’ll be able to train.

“Alex won’t make this game. We hope he won’t be too far away for the following games, but he doesn’t have a fixed return date yet. He’s making good progress, and the injury isn’t as serious as first thought.”

With Isak and Gordon both expected to be unavailable, Wilson is Newcastle’s only real option for the central-attacking berth.


The England international returned to action from the substitutes’ bench during the second half of last weekend’s 4-4 draw, and having been able to train fully this week, he is set to lead the line as the Magpies look to make amends for their Boxing Day home defeat at the hands of Forest when they take to the field at the City Ground.

“Callum has trained well this week,” said Howe. “We’ve been really pleased with him. I thought he did well last week in a 45-minute cameo. Prior to that, he hadn’t really trained with the team. He was thrust back into action, but he looks good and is getting his sharpness back. He’s had a good week in front of goal, so I’d say he’s ready (to start).”

Harvey Barnes is another player pushing for a starting spot, although with the winger having been absent since September prior to coming off the bench to score last weekend, Howe admits he would ideally like to ease him back into action is possible.

“Ideally, if we had a fully-fit squad, he wouldn’t be in contention to start and we’d very much be easing him in,” he said. “That would be my preference, and that would have been my preference for a lot of the players we’ve had to put back into the team before they were ready.

“We’ve done that a number of times, but we’ve had no choice. He would fall into that bracket – we’d probably want to ease him back.”