Shola Ameboi is fit and makes a surprise return to the Newcastle United team for this afternoon’s Tyne-Wear derby clash at St.James’ Park.
The 27-year-old has been sidelined with an ankle injury since the 2-1 win over Spurs in December but will partner Andy Carroll in attack against Sunderland.
So we have two local lads, who have come through the Academy leading the line this afternoon, and we know Shola loves playing against Sunderland.
The 50th Newcastle goal for Shola this afternoon perhaps.
Kevin Nolan, our £4M arrival from Bolton on Friday, is handed his full debut as expected, and will take his place in the center of midfield alongside captain Nicky Butt.
Fabricio Coloccini drops back into the defense after a midfield defensive role against Man City, and fellow Argentine Jonas Gutierrez returns to the midfield.
It looks like Steven Taylor will also start at right back, in what looks a decent side, although it appears Martins failed fitness test, and Alan Smith is not on the bench, rather surprisingly, after going 65 minutes in the Reserves last week.
The Newcastle team looks rather good on paper, given all our injuries.
Former Gosforth-born Newcastle striker Michael Chopra has to settle for a place on the bench for Sunderland.
Newcastle will need to be a lot better than they’ve been in their last sevra; games if we are to get our first win in the last 8 games.
Howay The Lads!!
Newcastle United: Steve Harper, Fabricio Coloccini, Jose Enrique, Sebastien Bassong, Steven Taylor, Nicky Butt (c), Kevin Nolan, Jonas Gutierrez, Damien Duff, Andy Carroll, Shola Ameobi
Subs: Xisco, Geremi, Peter Lovenkrands, David Edgar, Kazenga LuaLua, Tim Krul, Ryan Donaldson
Sunderland: Marton Fulop, Phil Bardsley, George McCartney, Dean Whitehead (c), Carlos Edwards, Steed Malbranque, Djibril Cisse, Kieran Richardson, Danny Collins, Kenwyne Jones, Anton Ferdinand
Subs: Daryl Murphy, Michael Chopra, Grant Leadbitter, Dwight Yorke, Andy Reid, David Healy, Nick Colgan
Referee: Howard Webb