Newcastle fans haven’t seen Javi Manquillo since January 1st.
The defender was struck down by injury in the New Year’s Day drubbing against Leicester, one of four Toon players to limp off that day.
But with Crystal Palace next up for the Magpies, Steve Bruce desperately needs Manquillo fit for selection.
We all know who Crystal Palace’s biggest threat is – Wilfried Zaha.
The Eagles’ talisman is the one player we need to stop at Selhurst Park, but that is easier said than done.
In the past, DeAndre Yedlin has struggled up against Zaha. And Valentino Lazaro made his defensive limitations known against Arsenal on Sunday.
One man who can handle the winger is Manquillo. He did just that before Christmas, keeping Zaha quiet as Newcastle won 1-0.
Manquillo has been an unsung hero this season, putting in multiple resolute defensive displays.
Sadly, we’ll likely have to do without him at Selhurst Park on Saturday. There has been no word on Manquillo’s return, and considering it was a muscle injury, Bruce likely won’t want to rush the 25-year-old back.
That means it’s a toss up between Yedlin and Lazaro. Whoever Bruce decides to go with must be disciplined, otherwise Zaha could ensure it’s back-to-back defeats for the Magpies.