By North-east correspondent Harry Sykes
Newcastle will be without defensive duo Daryl Janmaat and Fabricio Coloccini for Tuesday’s Premier League showdown against Manchester City.
The double blow means manager Rafael Benitez could stick with the back four that helped to keep a clean sheet in Saturday’s crucial 3-0 win over Swansea.
Newcastle will also face a City team that will be strengthened by the availability of key fit-again pair Vincent Kompany and Raheem Sterling.
Kompany (calf) and Sterling (groin) have both been out for around a month but are ready to return to action against the relegation-battling Magpies.
— Manchester City FC (@MCFC) April 18, 2016
However, Benitez could have an extra defensive option for the encounter with City at St James’ Park, as Swiss defender Kevin Mbabu is closing on a return to the team.
“I still don’t have Coloccini or Janmaat,” said Benitez on Monday afternoon, as quoted by the Chronicle. “Mbabu is very close now. But I have selection problems and decisions to make.”
City go into the game with Newcastle in great form after following up their Champions League victory over Paris Saint-German with a thumping 3-0 win at Chelsea on Saturday.
Newcastle will climb above Norwich into 17th position in the Premier League table if they are able to beat City on Tuesday night.
In other Newcastle news, an emerging star has explained why he is happy to be unpopular with his team-mates.