Tuesday 23 January 2018

Given set to miss play-off

Newcastle Utd 0 Stoke City 0

Newcastle United's Daryl Janmaat and Stoke City's Marko Arnautovic
Newcastle United's Daryl Janmaat and Stoke City's Marko Arnautovic
Stoke's Jonathan Walters in action with Newcastle's Paul Dummett

St James' park

Stoke manager Mark Hughes has admitted he would be "very surprised" if keeper Shay Given was available for the Republic of Ireland's Euro 2016 play-off as he awaits knee surgery.

The 39-year-old limped out of Ireland's 1-0 qualifier victory over Germany on October 8 and is struggling to make the double-header against Bosnia and Herzegovina next month.

Speaking after yesterday's stalemate, Hughes said: "He was in training the other day and unfortunately after training, his knee blew up. He's got a little bit of loose bone in the knee which we hoped would just settle down. But it's raised his head again and it looks like he might have to have a procedure to deal with it."

Asked where that would leave him for the play-off games, Hughes added: "No, he won't be available for that. I would be very surprised."

Darren Randolph took over from Given in the Germany game and started against Poland three days later.

It was another goalkeeper who was the hero yesterday as Stoke left Newcastle with a hard-earned point, with the Magpies once again failing to make the most of their chances.

Butland made two second-half saves from Moussa Sissoko, including a stunning effort late on, and others from Ayoze Perez and substitute Jamaal Lascelles having needed the help of a post to deny Aleksandar Mitrovic before the break in front of a crowd of 47,139.

He prevented Steve McClaren's men from securing the win they needed to ease the pain of their derby defeat at Sunderland, and they remain deep in trouble with only one league win this season.

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