STEVEN TAYLOR is set to make a comeback to the Newcastle United team ahead of the Wear-Tyne derby as Alan Pardew ponders a defensive headache.
The Greenwich-born Geordie has not featured for the Magpies since his sending off at Manchester City on the opening day of the season before he suffered a groin strain in training, but injury to Fabricio Coloccini and the suspension to Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has given Pardew little option but to hand the 27-year-old a recall on Sunday afternoon.
Taylor saw red at the Etihad Stadium for an elbow on City’s Sergio Aguero, with Newcastle going on to lose 4-0, and has not appeared in a black and white shirt again after picking up an injury.
Mike Williamson is certain to start at the Stadium of Light, while Pardew could partner him with Taylor or Paul Dummett, who scored against Liverpool on Saturday, after Yanga-Mbiwa was dismissed for a foul on Luis Suarez at St James’ Park.
Taylor’s return to the squad would give Sunday’s match some added spice, should it ever need it.
The centre-half quipped last season that no Sunderland player would get into the Newcastle line-up, while in 2009 he famously won a penalty at the Gallowgate End after going down easily from a Steed Malbranque challenge, in a game Newcastle went on to tie 1-1.
Meanwhile, Dummett has claimed that if he is not involved on Sunday he will be in the away end cheering the Magpies on.
“I know exactly what this game means to this football club – especially as I am a fan,” Dummett said.
“If I’m not in the squad, I’ll be in the stand singing songs and cheering players on.
“But if I am playing, I know exactly what it means to win this game. If I’m selected I’ll be doing everything I can to help the club.”