Newcastle’s betting odds may currently be 12/1 to get relegated this season, but this could substantially shorten in the coming month as the injury troubles of star striker Andy Carroll continue.
Carroll is Newcastle’s top scorer this season with 11 league goals, but he has missed their last four Premier League games because of a thigh problem.
It was believed that the injury was on the verge of clearing up, but Carroll has suffered a setback in his recuperation and will now visit a tendon repair specialist.
This is expected to lead to another month out of action and could result in Newcastle being sucked towards the relegation places.
Newcastle may have avoided defeat in the four games they have already played without Carroll, but the club will not be overly happy in having to continue without him.
Manager Alan Pardew said: “We brought him out here (to Portugal) to start running and the disappointing news is that he hasn’t.
“His injury is in the muscle, just above the tendon where it joins the knee, so it’s not an area that gets great circulation and therefore it doesn’t heal quickly.”
Newcastle are currently in the top half of the Premier League standings, but despite this only find themselves eight points clear of the relegation places.
This gap could easily close in the next three weeks as Newcastle play three of their four league games on the road, while their fixture at St James’ Park is a challenging one against Arsenal.
Meanwhile, the injury all but rules Carroll out of being the Premier League’s top scorer this season.
Carroll is priced at 25/1 in the Premier League betting to claim the Golden Boot, but his injury virtually ensures that it is effectively a two-horse race between Dimitar Berbatov and Carlos Tevez.
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