Injury expert Ben Dinnery expects Chris Wood to keep his place in the starting XI for Newcastle following Callum Wilson’s fitness issues.
Wilson missed Newcastle’s dominant 3-0 win on their return to action, and Wood scored an early penalty on what was a rare start for him.
The Englishman was part of England’s World Cup squad, but failed to start a single game as Harry Kane was ahead in the pecking order, and could not make the trip on Boxing Day as he was struggling with illness.
Speaking on the FPL Injuries YouTube channel, Dinnery suggested that he expects Wood to continue in the starting XI even if Wilson recovers, as he will need to gradually return to full match sharpness having not played regularly in over a month and a half.
He said: “[Wilson] was a late withdrawal due to illness. Even up until the day before, there was hope that he would recover in time.
“He hasn’t, so Chris Wood led the Magpies attack, and of course, he got that early penalty.
“Even if Callum Wilson does recover, I think Chris Wood is going to continue in attack for Newcastle. Certainly, Callum Wilson won’t be 100%.
“He was involved in the Carabao Cup against Bournemouth, but maybe he lacks that little bit of sharpness, hasn’t had a great deal of football, so I think, just given everything that’s been going on over the last 4-5 weeks, I expect Chris Wood to lead the attack for Newcastle.”
TIF Thoughts on Wood and Wilson…
With Alexander Isak still absent and Wilson not 100% fit, Wood was given just his third league start of the season and dispatched his spot-kick well to give his side the lead against Leicester City on Monday.
He has certainly earned a place in the starting XI for the next game whilst Wilson continues to recover, and even if the Englishman is available for the next match, Eddie Howe may choose to bring him off the bench to ease him back in.
Newcastle face Leeds at home before a tough trip to Arsenal, and Howe will surely want Wilson fresh to face the league leaders, so we would not be surprised to see Wood start against his former club on New Year’s Eve.