Norwich v Newcastle – Match preview and team news

Carrow Road plays host to two sides that have struggled severely of late as Norwich take on a Newcastle side suffering from a severe lack of fitness and confidence of late. Chris Hughton’s Canaries have lost their last four Premier League games after embarking on a 10 match unbeaten run in the league and although they will not quite be fearful of relegation, the former Newcastle manager will be aware that victory over his old employers would just ease the pressure from the supporters on his side.

Captain Grant Holt may be available as he bids to recover from a hamstring injury while midfielder Jonny Howson could also take his place in the starting XI after recovering from illness. Those returns make up for the absences of John Ruddy (groin), Steve Morison (thigh), Steven Whittaker and Andrew Surman (both hip).

Newcastle, still recovering from the shock of losing the scorer of over half their goals this season in Demba Ba, have been rocked by the news that captain and defensive mainstay Fabricio Coloccini has requested a return home to Argentina for personal reasons.

Coloccini had been likely to return to the Magpies starting XI as Alan Pardew prepares to make wholesale changes from the side that fell at Brighton in the FA Cup last week, and help reverse an alarming slide in form that has seen them only win one of their last six league games, leaving them just two points above the drop zone at present.

Elsewhere, Papiss Cisse looks set to spearhead the Toon attack with Ba departed and Shola Ameobi suspended, while Mathieu Debuchy should make his debut at right-back. Key midfielder Yohan Cabaye could make his return to the substitutes bench after a period absent with injury.

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