Ahead for today’s fixture against Arsenal in Premier League match at Emirates Stadium, United will losing Mark Viduka after his latest medical check shows he still have light calf injury and Keegan will not take any risk to play him.
Kevin Keegan confirmed that Viduka got a slight calf strain so he’s not quite ready but hopefully he’ll be featured for the home game with Middlesbrough.
With Viduka’s missing, Joey Barton is set for his return to Newcastle substitutes bench. Barton is currently awaiting his trial over an alleged incident last month, but a change in the player’s bail conditions makes him able to play at the Emirates.
“We are very low on numbers at the minute and we might need Joey and I’d have no problems with bringing him on.” Keegan explained, “He has worked really hard in training and I do believe that we will make a plus out of a minus.”
Keegan says despite the Gunners 3-0 victors in the FA Cup fourth round, United still has an excellent chance to get away with a result from the Emirates today. King Kev challenge them to show the same quality like their FA Cup first-half courage through the full 90 minutes tonight.
“If we play like that against most teams in the Premier League then we’ll have more to cheer about than we will to cry about,” he told Newcastle World TV. “We’ve had a really good go and I was delighted with that. The lads showed courage and we should’ve gone in ahead at half-time.”
Meanwhile, Wenger warned his Arsenal players of Michael Owen threat at the Emirates Stadium and believes that given Owen half a chance he will punish the North Londoners.
“His match sharpness will come back with more games,” Wenger said, “You still feel that if you make a mistake, he will be there to take advantage of it as his runs are very intelligent.”
“You see that the quality is there, but Owen is not yet 100 per cent.”