Newcastle expected 4-2-3-1 v Bournemouth: key trio to return

OPINION By Coral Barry

Andros Townsend is in line to return to the Newcastle attack for their crunch match against Bournemouth on Saturday in the Premier League.

The January recruit missed Newcastle’s 1-0 defeat to Stoke after suffering a knock in training, but he is expected to get the all clear from the Magpies’ medical staff to face Bournemouth.

Steve McClaren made four changes to the side that lost to Stoke after Newcastle had over two weeks to reflect on the 5-1 thrashing they received from Chelsea in the league on February 13th.

After the latest defeat, Newcastle are in dire circumstances as they sit second from the bottom of the table.

Like Townsend, Cheick Tiote and Papiss Cisse will also face late fitness tests after they missed the trip to the Britannia on Wednesday.

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One definite absentee is Newcastle skipper Fabricio Coloccini who is struggling with a calf injury, which could see Jamaal Lascelles continue at centre-back.

Stand-in Shelvey: the midfielder has taken the armband in Coloccini’s absence

Newcastle created very little against Stoke with just three shots on target and will need to improve quickly if they are to stop Bournemouth from claiming back-to-back wins for the first time since December.

McClaren’s side are in the drop zone on goal difference with Norwich and Tyneside rivals Sunderland also on 24 points.

A win would lift them out of the relegation zone if Sunderland fail to win against Southampton and Norwich do the same at Manchester City.

Newcastle (possible) Elliot; Janmaat, Lascelles, Taylor, Dummett; Colback, Shelvey; Sissoko, Wijnaldum, Townsend; Mitrovic.