Owen on Newcastle bench for Villa clash

Newcastle United boss Sam Allardyce will name Michael Owen among his substitutes for tomorrow's clash with Aston Villa.

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Owen said: "I probably could have played against Bolton but if I'd felt the thigh again, it would have been a month out."

He has come through a reserve game and a behind-closed-doors match unscathed and should play for England against Germany on Wednesday.

But his lack of football is a concern for England gaffer Steve McClaren ahead of the crucial Euro 2008 qualifiers with Israel and Russia next month.

And Toon boss Big Sam has told McClaren not to risk Owen.

Allardyce said: "It isn't fair to put too much pressure on him. I have spoken with Steve a few times about Michael."

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