It seems that Newcastle are getting most of their players back fit again at the right time of the season.
Peter Lovenkrands – back again on Monday night
The Coca Cola Championship’s final day of the season is five weeks tomorrow, when there will be a full quota of games.
And in that time the Newcastle club will be playing their last 8 games starting with Nottingham Forest in Monday night.
Of the eight games remaining, four are at home and four away.
And Newcastle manager Chris Hughton expects quite a few players to be available again for Monday night’s titanic game at St. James’ Park. against 3rd placed Nottingham Forest.
Alan Smith, Shola Ameobi and Peter Løvenkrands are all set to return from injury.
The only player who is now out for the season is 24 year-old Steven Taylor and that was a self inflicted blow to the club, so to speak, and as we all found out last Tuesday.
But we seem to be well covered at center-back with Coloccini, Williamson and the impressive young Tamas Kadar, and Chris Hughton decided not to go into the loan market for another center-back last week.
And good news that 27 year-old Joey Barton made his first appearance since September as a substitute at Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday evening.
José Enrique was wisely rested by Chris Hughton at Doncaster, to ensure the Spaniard is gully recovered from his hamstring problems, but he will almost certainly line up at left-back on Monday night.
It’s good that Shola Ameobi is back again after a lengthy lay-of because of his hamstring problems, and it will be good to see Shola in action again.
Shola showed some of his best form ever at Newcastle last August, which got the Newcastle club off to a great start in the league.
But the local lad may find it hard to push himself into the starting line-up, in front of Carroll, Lovenkrands and Leon Best.
As far as the team line-up for Monday night we think Chris will plump for the following starting eleven:
Simpson Coloccini Williamson Enrique
Routledge Nolan (c) Guthrie Gutierrez
So no place in that side for Alan Smith, Joey Barton, Shola Ameobi, Nicky Butt or Tamas Kadar, who was Man of the Match on Tuesday night.
That shows we have a decent set of players available right now, which we will need, and the bench on Monday night will be very strong.