We certainly hope this news is true with the Mirror reporting they understand both Chancel Mbemba and Fabricio Coloccini are fit for the derby game against Sunderland on Sunday.
Chancel Mbemba has been badly missed by Newcastle since he’s been out with an ankle injury he picked up at Everton way back on 3rd February – so that’s six weeks he’s been out.
It was a mistake to play Mbemba on that night, because he was already suffering pain in the ankle/heel and of course he didn’t last too long and was withdrawn in the first half – a poor error of judgement from Steve McClaren.
So because we risked him against Everton he subsequently has missed five games and because we have been without one of our best players we’ve lost the last four.
Chancel Mbemba – could return on Sunday
The Mirror is reporting he could now return alongside returning center-back and captain Fabricio Coloccini this weekend, after Colo also returned to full training this week.
Coloccini has been missing with a calf injury he suffered during the Magpies warm-down following the 2-1 win in La Manga against Lillestrom and we fully expect Coloccini to start playing well under the very experienced Rafa Benitez.
We expect Rafa’s press conference for the Sunderland game tomorrow, so we will hear then if both defenders are fit to play.
And it remains to be seen whether Rafa will change the center-back partnership from Steven Taylor and Jamaal Lascelles, who started at Leicester City on Monday night – but we expect at least one change in the middle two.
Rafa is likely to start Coloccini because of his vast experience and Chancel too – if the former Anderlecht defender can prove his sharpness in training this week.
And Rafa is savvy enough not to risk either player, if they are not fully fit and ready to play.
One of the things that could help save us from relegation is to have all our best players fit for the final 9 games of the season and they will not be risked if they are not 100% fit.
That’s something that didn’t always happen under Steve McClaren.