Newcastle United trumped Chelsea at St. James Park in December despite losing No. 2 keeper Rob Elliot to injury and having to insert 21-year-old third-choice man Jak Alnwick in his stead.
Alnwick hasn’t been a disaster, but he’s certainly had his growing pains. So Newcastle caretaker manager John Carver will be thrilled to hear that Tim Krul came through 45 minutes of a closed-door friendly against Celtic well and is itching to get between the sticks at Stamford Bridge on Saturday (10am ET).
[ PST EXTRA: Can Southampton knock off Manchester United? ]
Given that Chelsea’s coming off a loss and won’t be overlooking the Magpies, perhaps it’s better Krul wait a week… but we digress.
“Game situations are always different to the ones you get in training, and better too, which is why I wanted to play in this game,” he explained.
“So I’m pleased to get back on the pitch and get back in my rhythm.
“My ankle is feeling really good. It’s strong and I’m not feeling any problem at all.
“I’m dying to be back because I’m not very good at watching games from the sidelines. We’ve got a great game on Saturday against Chelsea so hopefully I can get through the next couple of days and be back in contention for the weekend.
“I’ve been training hard to be back and hopefully the moment is there on Saturday.”
Newcastle is 2W-2D-4L since Krul was injured, and hasn’t kept a single clean sheet. They’ve allowed multiple goals four times, actually winning one of those matches (3-2 to Everton). The Dutch penalty kicks World Cup hero will be welcome whenever he’s ready.