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Man United boost: Nick Pope red card plunges Newcastle into League Cup final crisis

The hopes of Newcastle United of springing a surprise en route to victory in the upcoming League Cup final have, on Saturday evening, been dealt nothing short of a hammer blow.

The Magpies, of course, are currently locked in action.

Amid efforts to secure a return to winning ways on the back of successive draws over the course of the last two weeks, Eddie Howe’s troops have welcomed Liverpool to St. James’ Park.

Safe to say, however, that proceedings, to date, have not gone exactly according to plan.

With 45 minutes on the clock on Tyneside, Newcastle trail Liverpool by two goals to nil, owing to strikes on the part of Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo.

And yet, the concerns of the evening’s hosts do not end there.

This, of course, means that the English international now faces an imminent suspension.

And it just so happens that this suspension is set to rule him out of Newcastle’s biggest fixture of the season to date – next weekend’s League Cup final.

Not only that, but backup Martin Dubravka has already featured in the competition for finale opponents Manchester United, making him cup tied.

With Karl Darlow also out on loan at Hull City, this leaves former Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius as the only senior option at the disposal of boss Eddie Howe for next weekend’s Wembley showpiece.

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Conor Laird

Die-hard Juventus fan with a love for all things Italian, and a real soft spot for Arsenal cult heroes. Emmanuel Eboue, Nicklas Bendtner, Philippe Senderos... Give them all statues outside the Emirates.

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