‘Too early’ — Eddie Howe rules ‘unplayable’ Newcastle United star out of Everton clash

The latest injury news coming out of Newcastle as Everton prepare to host Eddie Howe and his men at Goodison Park.

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Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe has ruled out the return of Allan Saint-Maximin for their trip to Goodison Park on Thursday.

Everton will host the high-flying Magpies in a must-win Premier League clash for both sides. The Toffees are currently fighting a tough relegation battle, while Newcastle are on track to secure a top four finish.

Last time out, Sean Dyche’s side held Crystal Palace to a 0-0 draw. Despite being reduced to ten men after a Mason Holgate red card, the Eagles were unable to snag a winning goal and the Blues returned to Merseyside with a point.

However, after Leicester City’s win over Wolves, Everton have now slipped into the drop zone. They are currently level on 28 points with the Foxes, but behind on goal difference, while Nottingham Forest and Southampton occupy the bottom two spots.

Allan Saint-Maximin to miss Everton clash

Saint-Maximin is currently in France receiving treatment for a hamstring injury and is due to return to Tyneside this week. However, Howe has said he thinks the visit to Goodison Park will be “too early” for the winger.

Saint-Maximin is a talent who has wowed many fans, pundits and managers over the years, especially since his move to the Premier League in 2019. Last season, the 26-year-old put in a Man of the Match performance against Everton and earned huge praise for his relentless attacking efforts.

“Saint-Maximin was absolutely unplayable tonight. I have seen him play well but he was outstanding tonight, by far the best player on the pitch,” said commentator Rob Lee during the post-match analysis.

Usually, a team being without such a high calibre player would be a lifeline for the opposing team, especially when they are hoping to bank as many points as possible in order to avoid relegation. But Newcastle’s attack is just as devastating without Saint-Maximin, as they proved against Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend.

The Magpies put on a sensational display at St James’ Park, finding the back of the net almost immediately after kick-off. Before the game had even reached the half hour mark, Newcastle were a staggering 5-0 up against their fellow top four challengers.

The match ended 6-1, with Jacob Murphy and Alexander Isak both bagging a brace, while Joelinton and Callum Wilson also got themselves on the scoresheet.

Newcastle did suffer a 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa without Saint-Maximin in the squad, but their comeback performance against Spurs shows that they have enough firepower in their ranks to not be too bogged down by one injury.

Based on their opponents’ most recent result, Everton will need to fine-tune their game plan to avoid a similar fate.