It has been a tough time of late for Newcastle, as they have had to cope without three of their best players in the form of Callum Wilson, Guimaraes and Saint-Maximin, who are all in the treatment room at present.
The former has seemingly been replaced for now by Alexander Isak, who has got one goal since arriving from Real Sociedad, however, the other two are yet to have been effectively replaced by squad players, with Newcastle picking up just two points in their absences.
Waugh, however, believes that Saint-Maximin and Guinmaraes could return this weekend against West Ham United judging by Eddie Howe’s recent comments on the trio:
“He [Howe] said that he hopes that Wilson, Saint-Maximin and Bruno will be back together – at some stage, he didn’t say it would necessarily be together. From our understanding of where they are fitness-wise, I think there’s a decent chance that Bruno and/or Allan Saint-Maximin could be back for West Ham.
Will Newcastle win on Sunday?
“I think Wilson might be the weekend after or possibly the weekend after that; I don’t think he’s likely to be back [for West Ham]. But at this stage, it’s looking hopeful that at least one of the other two will be back, if not both.”
TIF Thoughts on Saint-Maximin and Guimaraes injury boost…
It would be huge for Eddie Howe to be able to call upon two players who are so influential to the success of his side, with Saint-Maximin racking up the most progressive yards carried with the ball and also the most shot-creating actions, whereas Guimaraes has the best points-per-match ratio out of any Newcastle player (as per FBref).
However, given it would be their first taste of action for several weeks when the West Ham game comes around, Howe will have to be sure they’re ready and not risk them aggravating any knocks that would see them miss even more game time.
Both players will be keen to get back out onto the pitch to remind people of their talent and also ensure they are still getting talked about for a spot at the World Cup with their respective nations.