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Newcastle's fit-again Carroll in line to face Brighton

Newcastle's fit-again Carroll in line to face Brighton
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Burnley v West Ham United - Turf Moor, Burnley, Britain - December 30, 2018 Referee David Coote speaks with West Ham's Andy Carroll. REUTERS/Andrew Yates -
Andrew Yates(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – Newcastle United striker Andy Carroll is likely to make his first appearance of the season in Saturday’s Premier League match against Brighton and Hove Albion after shaking off an ankle injury, manager Steve Bruce said on Friday.

The 30-year-old has not featured since rejoining the club on transfer deadline day due to the niggling problem and only began training in the leadup to last weekend’s 3-1 defeat to Liverpool.

“As long as he comes through today OK… he’ll be involved, which is good news at the top end of the pitch,” Bruce told a news conference.

“If he stays fit he’s a wonderful centre forward. Certainly of his type I don’t think there’s been anybody better in the last eight to 10 years when he’s been playing.”

Winger and fellow new arrival Allan Saint-Maximin has also recovered from a hamstring strain to be in contention but midfielder Sean Longstaff will miss out again because of an ankle injury.

Newcastle have suffered three defeats in their opening five games but Bruce is hopeful the team can replicate the form that helped them stun Tottenham Hotspur last month.

“The only way I can get people thinking positively is if we can produce a few results. Now we’ve got a wonderful opportunity to go and get our second win of the season,” he said.

“Brighton have had a total change of philosophy under their new manager. They’re probably going through that transition.

“They had a wonderful start when they won 3-0 (at Watford); they’re a good side and they’ve got good players. That’s the Premier League.”

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)

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