NEWCASTLE UNITED are set to receive a triple boost ahead of Sunday’s home game with Aston Villa with Fabricio Coloccini, Cheik Tiote and Loic Remy all expected to be available for the game.
Remy will return from a three-game suspension as the Magpies look to end a run of four consecutive home defeats when Paul Lambert’s side visit St James’ Park.
The Frenchman is set to partner Luuk de Jong as Alan Pardew names a relatively attacking formation, and the Magpies manager will also be able to call on the services of Coloccini and Tiote, who are ready to return from injury.
Tiote has missed the last two league games, with his absence being particularly keenly felt as the Tottenham midfield ran riot at St James’ nine days ago.
The Ivorian has not been at his best for parts of this season, but in the absence of Yohan Cabaye, who completed a £20m move to Paris St Germain last month, his combative qualities will be welcomed.
“He’s got a good chance of being involved,” said Pardew. “We’ve missed his all-round game, especially against a powerful Spurs midfield.
“He was the last person we could be without. They’re very, very good with the ball technically. We’ve missed his leadership qualities in that area.”
Coloccini has been sidelined since damaging his knee ligaments in the New Year’s Day defeat at West Brom, but the skipper is back in full training and should return to dislodge Steven Taylor and partner Mike Williamson on Sunday.
“Colo’s worked hard, and he’s looking better,” said Pardew. “He was in all weekend, so he’s had four or five days.”
It remains to be seen whether Coloccini remains at St James’ beyond the end of the season, with his much-publicised desire to return to Argentina not having waned in the 12 months since he attempted to force through a return to his homeland.
Taylor’s future is increasingly uncertain, with Pardew having displayed little desire to make the 27-year-old a regular first-team starter this season.
QPR were strongly linked with a possible loan move in last month’s transfer window, and Harry Redknapp is expected to make a more concerted move for Taylor’s services if the London club win promotion in May.
West Ham and Hull are also monitoring Taylor’s position, with both Sam Allardyce and Steve Bruce long-standing admirers of his defensive qualities.