Steve Bruce confirmed to Sky Sports News this morning that not only will Andy Carroll feature for Newcastle this weekend, but enigmatic French winger Allan Saint-Maximin is also likely to be involved.
It has been something of an open secret that Andy Carroll was likely to be involved for Newcastle against Brighton on Saturday, but news that Saint-Maximin is also set to return is something of a bonus.
Speaking about Saint-Maximin, Bruce said: “We’ve made sure he’s 100 per cent right and, thankfully, he looks as if he is, so it’s just a matter of game time, and the more he plays and trains [the better]. So he could be involved as well.”
The pick-me-up that everyone around the club will get from having some players coming back should boost confidence and morale, and it can only be a positive thing for Newcastle.
Saint-Maximin can provide something different for the team, and be the spark that changes a game.
The concern will be the chance of another set-back from a recurrence of the injury, but with Bruce insisting they have taken no chances, we have to put faith in the medical team.
A big physical threat up front with Joelinton and Carroll together
He also spoke about the possibility of having both Carroll and Joelinton in the same team together, and sees no reason why they cannot play together as a partnership.
Speaking about the two big strikers as a pair, he said: “Why not? I’ve seen Joe play towards the left when he played for Hoffenheim agains Manchester City in the Champions League 18 months ago, so I’ve got no qualms that he can adapt.
“If we have to play the two of them up top, we’ll play the two of them up top. They’ll certainly be a handful, that’s for sure.”
It is an exciting prospect having a big forward line, with Saint-Maximin as a potential threat from the wing providing the ammunition for them.
If nothing else, it provides more room for optimism, ahead of a huge game that Bruce described as a “cup final” and Jamaal Lascelles called a “six-pointer”.
No doubt Newcastle need to win it, and with players coming back into the fold, there is certainly a positive feeling about the place going into the game.