Newcastle: Howe must unleash Miley tonight


Newcastle United return to competitive action at home to Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup tonight, with manager Eddie Howe hoping to get the better of his former employers in order to steer the Magpies into the quarter-finals.

While the dust has not yet settled following a barnstorming World Cup final on Sunday, club football is now already back upon us ahead of what will be a typically hectic festive schedule over the coming weeks.

The Tynesiders will be hoping to begin this crammed period on a positive note by seeing off the Cherries at St James’ Park, with the Magpies still fully aware of their lengthy barren run without major silverware.

The expectation will likely be for Howe to name a similar team to the one which edged past La Liga side Rayo Vallecano in a friendly at the weekend, albeit with one potential absentee set to be that of fleet-footed Frenchman Allan Saint-Maximin.

The Newcastle boss confirmed in his pre-match press conference that the Frenchman had sustained a “slight injury” following that clash against the Spanish outfit, and it’s yet to be seen if the 25-year-old will be fit to feature tonight.

That uncertainty could well grant Howe the opportunity to hand a deserved promotion to teenage starlet Lewis Miley, with the 16-year-old seemingly in line to make his competitive senior debut after featuring off the bench against Vallecano.

The highly-rated playmaker – who can feature in an attacking midfield role or on the flanks – has been a “standout performer” for the club’s U18 side in recent times according to journalist Aaron Stokes, having scored once and laid on one assist in that age group this season.

The young Englishman – who has been described as a “tall, skilful, goalscoring no 10” by Stokes – has also made a handful of appearances at U21 level so far this term, having enjoyed a rapid ascent up the academy ranks.

Such quality – which saw him tipped by Stokes to have a “huge future” – has also been recognised by those away from St James’ Park, with the emerging starlet having been included in The Guardian’s 2022 Next Gen list of the top 20 youth talents in the Premier League.

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Miley has done his chances of earning an inclusion tonight no harm after starring in the recent Premier League Cup victory over Crystal Palace on Monday, with the Gateshead-born ace scoring twice in that 3-2 triumph.

Despite the close proximity of the two matches, Howe could help the midfielder to maintain that momentum by starting him against Gary O’Neil’s Cherries tonight.

#Newcastle #Howe #unleash #Miley #tonight


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