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Newcastle face injury and absence problems

last updated Thursday 19th January 2012, 1:11 PM

Newcastle manager  Alan Pardew
Newcastle manager
Alan Pardew
It will be a depleted Newcastle United team that travels to London for Saturday's English Premier League match against Fulham.

Newcastle have impressed so far during their second season back in the top flight and sit sixth on the table with just under half the campaign remaining.

But a combination of injuries and absentees threatens to undermine their progress.

Manager Alan Pardew remains without the services of key centre-back Steven Taylor with a long-term Achilles injury.

In midfield, Sylvain Marveaux continues to struggle with a groin injury, while Yohan Cabaye is in doubt with an ankle knock sustained during Newcastle's 1-0 win at home to Queens Park Rangers on Sunday.

Further forward, Sammy Ameobi has been sidelined for the rest of the season with a knee injury, and fellow striker Nile Ranger is not expected back from a foot problem until February.

Adding to the attacking concerns, centre-forward Peter Lovenkrands has not played since December 3 with a calf injury.

The biggest blow to Pardew's plans has not been inflicted by injury, but by international commitments, as both Cheick Tiote and Demba Ba are away on African Cup of Nations duty.

Ivory Coast international Tiote has been the lynchpin of Newcastle's midfield this season, with his performances reportedly attracting interest from England's biggest clubs.

And Ba's goals - the Senegal striker has netted 15 times in 19 Premier League appearances this season - have been crucial.

With both Ivory Coast and Senegal among the teams tipped to contend for the title in a weakened Cup of Nations field, either player could be absent until as late as February 25.

Source Soccerway
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