- Keeper spent time on loan at Old Trafford
- Took in two League Cup appearances
- Prevented from playing for Magpies at Wembley
WHAT HAPPENED? The first major domestic silverware of the 2022-23 campaign will be up for grabs at Wembley Stadium on Sunday when the Magpies lock horns with the Red Devils. Newcastle goalkeeper Dubravka is unable to feature in that contest, despite seeing regular No.1 Nick Pope pick up an untimely suspension, as he spent the first-half of the season on loan at Old Trafford and took in two League Cup appearances while with the Red Devils.
WHAT THEY SAID: Those outings mean that he would be awarded a medal if Manchester United bring their six-year wait for silverware to a close at the weekend, but the Slovakia international says he will be prioritising collective success on Tyneside over any personal rewards. Dubravka has told Chronicle Live of the conundrum he faces: “I played two games for Manchester United, so I knew that I can't play in the final or be there for the players. It’s a very strange situation for me as well, but that sometimes happens and hopefully it's up to someone else to show they can play in front of 90,000 people. It will be very difficult to watch this game. I’ve been asked about it a lot, but of course I want Newcastle to win because I’ve spent so many years here and I’m very grateful for the chance the club gave me in English football. You don’t need to ask me that.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: With Pope suspended and Dubravka cup-tied, former Liverpool keeper Loris Karius is set to line up between the sticks for Newcastle at Wembley – in what will be the German’s competitive debut for the club. Dubravka added on an unusual turn of events: “This could be a movie. It is a very strange situation. I can't play for obvious reasons. Nick got the red card. So now it's up to us to prepare the others mentally because that is the most difficult thing, to be mentally ready for it.”
IN THREE PHOTOS:Getty
WHAT NEXT? With Dubravka filling a cheerleading role on the sidelines, Newcastle – led by highly-rated coach Eddie Howe – will be looking to bring their own barren run on the trophy front to a close against Premier League rivals United, with the Magpies’ last triumph coming in the 1955 FA Cup final.