Shola Ameobi

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter

 

Alan Pardew is sweating on the fitness of striker Shola Ameobi ahead of Sunday's derby match against Sunderland at the Sports Direct Arena (noon kick-off).

The striker, who is United's joint second leading scorer of all-time against the Black Cats with six league goals, didn't train on Friday due to illness and was sent home by the Club's medical staff.

Ameobi is the Magpies' only doubt, with fellow front man Papiss Cisse recovering from a slight groin injury and the Club's international stars all reporting back for duty without any knocks.

"Shola was sick today. He didn't train and I'm a little bit worried about him," Pardew told the media on Friday lunchtime.

"I'm really hoping that he is involved at the weekend because he could be significant, and certainly was in the last game - he was the big difference between the two sides.

"Everybody else trained today except for Cheick (Tiote), who we just rested completely. And everybody looked fine.

"We've got all our players back from international duty and they all look fit and well, so that's a big bonus for us."