Shearer gives forgotten man Owen a chance to clinch Newcastle's survival
24 May 2009 08:21
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Alan Shearer will give Michael Owen a last chance to become a Geordie legend by naming him on the Newcastle United bench for today's£30million Premier League relegation clash at Aston Villa.
Owen, who is out of contract this summer and set to leave St James' Park on a Bosman free transfer, missed last weekend's home defeat by Fulham because of a groin strain and there were fears he would be ruled out of the final game of the season.
But Shearer has given him every chance to get fit and, after Owen trained successfully yesterday, Newcastle's manager is result at Villa than Hull do at home to Manchester United, or if they win and Sunderland lose at home to Chelsea.
Owen, 29, has not scored since January but is still thought to be Newcastle's most likely source of a goal. Shearer faces problems at the back with Sebastien Bassong suspended and Habib Beye and Jose Enrique both injury doubts.
Mark Viduka and Obafemi Martins are likely to start up front, supported by Argentine Jonas Gutierrez.
Even manager Shearer has had to beg the club for more tickets for family and friends as around 20,000 Newcastle fans make the journey to Villa Park - despite receiving only 4,000 seats.
A club insider said: 'The players only have two tickets each and they have been swamped with requests. Alan Shearer has been asking for more.'