There was some bad news this afternoon from manager Alan Pardew, when he told the Newcastle press that Steven Taylor had injured a knee in training this morning, and was very unlikely to play tomorrow night against Benfica – we don’t know if the injury rules him out of the Sunderland game.
Mathieu Debuchy – fit for Sunderland game
But James Perch seems to be fit again, and he could partner Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa in central defense, but we have a sneaking suspicion that 6’4″ Mike Williamson might get a game tomorrow night, to add some height to the Newcastle defense, to combat the aerial threat of 6’4″ Paraguay International Óscar Cardozo.
That will depend a lot on how Mike has been showing up in training recently – and good newson Tiote and Debuchy from Alan Pardew this afternoon:
“Cheick Tiote and Mathieu Debuchy – who’s obviously unavailable – are both going to be training tomorrow, which is good news for us.”
So it could be that both Debuchy and Tiote start the game against Sunderland on Sunday, and that will give us fresh legs – which we didn’t have in that first half last Sunday against Fulham.
And 20 year-old Massadio Haidara is also fit following the knee injury he picked up at Wigan, following that disastrous tackle by Callum McManaman, and it would be great to see Massadio start the game tomorrow night.
Ben Arfa is in the squad for tomorrow night too, and he could make a cameo performance, but we think he will likely start against Sunderland on Sunday.
So it seems that by Sunday we’ll have Hatem Ben Arfa, James Perch, Massadio Haidara, Mathieu Debuchy and Cheick Tiote back – and the news is that Fab Coloccini is coming along well too, and he could make the game at West Brom a week on Saturday, and that means he’s been out eight weeks with that back problem.
Whatever happens tomorrow night, it seems we’ll have most of our players back for the remaining six league games of the season – and we need to pick up as many points as we possibly can – and we may even finish in the top ten.
That would be terrific – given all the many injuries we’ve had this season.
Note: For those attending Thursday’s game (and Sunday too) please bring your scarves to the the game, as there is an effort to recreate the atmosphere at Alan Shearer’s testimonial, and hopefully inspire our lads to two famous wins.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org