Sunday, September 25, 2022

Newcastle United Defender Suffers A Shin Injury: A Big Blow For The Magpies?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent interview (via themag.co.uk), Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce has confirmed that Emil Krafth has suffered a shin injury in the 1-1 draw versus Wolverhampton Wanderers last month. However, the Magpies have confirmed on their official website that the Swedish full-back is expected to return to training later this week ahead of their crucial Premier League clash against West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns on Sunday afternoon.

Krafth’s Season In English Football So Far

The 26-year-old has endured a difficult season at St. James’ Park after failing to make himself a regular starter in Steve Bruce’s first-team. Krafth has participated in 13 matches for the Tyneside outfit this term, securing two yellow cards in the process across all competitions.

The Ljungby-born right-back has been a solid defender at the back as he is averaging 1.4 tackles, 1.1 interceptions and 2.9 clearances per 90 minutes in the Premier League. Offensively, his impact has been minimal, while he has also been sloppy with his ball-distribution based on his pass completion rate of 73% in the English first division (stats via whoscored).

Despite his shortcomings with the ball, Krafth has been a valuable squad player under Bruce’s tutelage, so his shin injury will add to the Newcastle manager’s growing list of concerns following the injuries to Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin recently.

Newcastle United's Krafth suffers a shin injury (Krafth is seen in the picture)
Emil Krafth of Newcastle United during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Newcastle United at Emirates Stadium on January 18, 2021, in London, England. Sporting stadiums around England remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Visionhaus)

What Does The Swedish Full-Back Offer On The Pitch?

Krafth is a moderately paced defender who can be a tough man to beat when left isolated in a 1v1 footrace. He has the desire to win possession back for his team by putting in some well-timed tackles inside his half. The 24-time Sweden international is also one of the hardest-working players in Bruce’s squad. Krafth does not take too many chances on the defensive end of the field and is not afraid to put his foot through the ball to clear the danger when needed. However, he has struggled to influence the game in the opposition half this season and is quite a one-dimensional right-back.

Krafth Suffers A Shin Injury: Big Blow For The Magpies?

The news about Krafth’s shin injury will be a huge blow for Newcastle as their squad is already stretched thin at the moment. However, the fact that he is set to return to training later this week will ease Bruce’s initial fears.

With a season-defining clash coming up against the Baggies this weekend, the Magpies boss will be sweating on the fitness of the Swedish full-back’s availability. If Krafth fails to recover in time, the Tyneside giants will have no choice but to play Jacob Murphy or Matt Ritchie as a makeshift right-back on Sunday afternoon.

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