Callum Wilson has backed goalkeeper Loris Karius to play a big part on a “special day” for Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup final.
The Magpies take on Manchester United at Wembley on Sunday as they look to win their first major domestic trophy since the 1950s.
Eddie Howe was dealt a massive blow when first-choice goalkeeper Nick Pope was sent off against Liverpool last weekend.
The England shot-stopper’s red card suspended him for the showcase match, meaning Howe will have to turn to third-choice ‘keeper Karius with Martin Dubravka cup-tied having played for… Manchester United.
Karius has not made an appearance for an English side since the 2018 Champions League final for Liverpool.
The German was heavily criticised for his role in the Reds’ defeat after he made two costly errors leading to goals.
He first threw the ball straight into Karim Benzema’s boot and watched the ball roll in the goal to open the scoring before letting a long-range effort from Gareth Bale slip through his hands to make it 3-1 to Real Madrid.
Karius said he was “infinitely sorry” for his errors and was sent death threats after the match in Kyiv.
His career in England seemed over as a result and the 29-year-old has only played five competitive matches since December 2020.
Newcastle striker Wilson believes Karius “has so much to prove to people” as he prepares himself to play in the Carabao Cup final.
Wilson said on The Footballer’s Football Podcast: “That game made his career take a nosedive, so he has so much to prove to people.
“He’s got more inspiration to turn peoples’ opinions of him around than anyone else in the stadium.
“There are so many emotional attachments to this game that I think it is going to be a special day.”
Wilson’s podcast co-host and West Ham striker Michail Antonio has backed “the best team in the league” Manchester United to come out on top at Wembley.
“Manchester United are the best team in the league,” he said. “They have the momentum, and football is about momentum.”
Howe is confident Karius will put in a good performance on Sunday and has urged the German ‘keeper to “rewrite the story of his career”.
“It would be a magnificent chance for him to rewrite the story of his career,” the Magpies boss said. “There’s been loads of stories through the times in football where these things have happened and there’s been a really positive outcome or not.
“We can’t predict what that will be.
“As soon as it happened, it was almost that feeling that there’s another story in Karius’ career – another page or chapter to write and who knows what that chapter will look like?
“That’s the beauty of football. We never know what is going to happen. This unpredictability is what makes it such an amazing thing to watch.”
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