Saturday, February 23, 2013

Tim K-ruled out with injury

Thursday's tremendous victory over Metalist Kharkiv came at a cost, with Tim Krul taking a knock towards the end and arriving back on Tyneside on crutches and with his ankle in a cast. The Dutchman is expected to be out of action for up to five weeks - a serious blow, especially given his exceptional second-half display in Ukraine.

With Steve Harper also struggling for fitness, that means Rob Elliot is set to take his Premier League bow against Southampton. After shaky beginnings in a friendly and a League Cup tie, Elliot has looked more assured and with a full-strength defence ahead of him should be afforded decent protection. Here's hoping he seizes his chance - and any shots and crosses that the Saints rain in on him - with both hands.

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