Squad rotation may become less possible for Newcastle over the busy Christmas period as Ryan Taylor has become the latest addition to their injury list.
With Premier League clubs expecting to play a number of games over a short space of time, managers will know the importance of using their whole squad to ensure players remain fresh.
Taylor’s versatility would have been an added bonus for Newcastle boss Chris Hughton, but now he faces approximately 12 weeks on the sidelines after damaging ankle ligaments in a training ground collision with Sol Campbell.
Hughton told the Newcastle club website: “It’s very disappointing to lose Ryan for this period of time.
“Although he hasn’t played as much football as he would have liked, he has been a very important and valuable member of the squad this season.”
Taylor could have been of particular use on the right side of midfield in the coming weeks with Joey Barton suspended and his crossing ability may have been especially appreciated by both Shola Ameobi and Andy Carroll.
Despite currently sitting eighth in the Premier League standings, Newcastle’s first aim this season remains to ensure their safety in the top flight.
They are currently 8/1 to be immediately relegated back to the Championship and some of their games over the Christmas period could have a major say on their finishing position.
Taylor is set to miss crunch away games with West Brom, Birmingham and Wigan, while their home clash with West Ham could prove important.
However, Newcastle’s immediate concern is their upcoming away fixture with Bolton, which means a return to his former club for captain Kevin Nolan.
It is 5/2 that Nolan makes a winning return and Newcastle beat Bolton, although the Magpies have only won one of their last seven away games against the opposition.
Bolton are 11/10 to beat Newcastle. See the full Bolton vs Newcastle Premier League betting odds market.