Newcastle United head to the capital this weekend knowing whatever the result they will be sitting at Europe's top table next season. All that is left to play for is third spot and the £2.2m extra prize money if they finish one place above Manchester United in the final Premier League standings

However, for some of Eddie Howe's first-team squad it will be their last jaunt with the team as a Newcastle player. Loris Karius, Mark Gillespie, Matt Ritchie and Paul Dummett are yet to be handed new deals with their contracts running down.

"There's always emotion," Howe told reporters. "Although I'm not outwardly emotional, inwardly, I am. Whether you have played the game or not, you are part of something very special that hopefully will be talked about for years to come at a club that has an incredible history and that we're all really proud to represent.

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"I'm sure I'm speaking on behalf of the staff members that are leaving and the players that may move on, because it's football, when I say that it's been an amazing season and an amazing squad to be a part of."

As some of the old guard begin to say their goodbyes, new prospects at the beginning of their career are starting to emerge. Lewis Miley, 17, is the youngster pushing to make his Premier League debut and could well be handed the opportunity on Sunday.

Miley's inclusion has been hinted at with the teenager not joining his under-21 team-mates as they attempt to retain the Hong Kong Citi Soccer Sevens tournament title this weekend.

"Lewy’s a real talent,” Howe said. “Now he’s been training with the team, I wouldn’t necessarily say consistently all season, but [for] the majority, I’d say he’s been with us.

"The biggest compliment I can give him is that he hasn’t looked out of place. He’s looked like part of the group. I would have no question marks about putting him in. Whether he’s ready or not, that will come down to how he performs.”

Nick Pope's injury also throws a spanner into the works for Howe on the final day. The Magpies shotstopper has undergone hand surgery and will be out for at least a month.

Martin Dubravka may finally get his first Premier League start of the campaign, while Loris Karius is expected to make the bench for potentially the final time in black and white.

The two goalkeepers are both facing uncertain futures at St James' Park. Dubravka, 34, continues to be linked with a move away to find regular minutes, while Karius' partner has spoken of wanting the ex-Liverpool man playing closer to her native Italy.


2023-05-26T07:07:35Z dg43tfdfdgfd