Masked avenger to face Inter?

Last updated : 19 November 2002 By Martyn Elliott

With Sir Bobby sweating on the fitness of Hugo Viana, after his withdrawal from the Portuguese squad to face Scotland, news of Robert’s return to fitness is very welcome.

The Frenchman said: "If it is needed I am ready to play in a mask. I have already spoken to both my surgeon and to Newcastle United about this.

"In any case I expect to be fit by the time we go to Barcelona in three weeks' time."

The winger is unlikely to face Manchester United on Saturday and with Hugo also likely to be out, Sir Bobby will have to choose between recalling Olivier Bernard or the out of favour Nobby Solano. If Solano gets the call he will start on the right and either Kieron Dyer or Gary Speed will start on the left, with Jermaine Jenas moving to the middle.

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