By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Papiss Cisse has been passed fit and will start for Newcastle in today's Tyne-Wear derby against Sunderland at the Sports Direct Arena (noon kick-off).
The Senegal striker, who has two goals in three games since his switch from SC Freiburg in January, hobbled off last week against Wolves with a slight groin injury and was withdrawn from international duty.
But Cisse was back in training at the end of this week and is named by United manager Alan Pardew in an unchanged starting line-up, meaning he will partner 16-goal top scorer Demba Ba up front.
Fresh on the back of signing new long-term contracts, goalkeeper Tim Krul and captain Fabricio Coloccini will once again be key components in the Magpies' defence, assisted by Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson and Davide Santon.
On the bench, there is a return for front man Peter Lovenkrands, while fellow striker Shola Ameobi has recovered from illness and will be hoping for some game time as he bids to add to his six Tyne-Wear derby goals in the black and white stripes.
Sunderland make one change to their line-up from last weekend's heavy defeat at West Brom and it is a positive switch, with striker Nicklas Bendtner replacing midfielder Jack Colback as boss Martin O'Neill switches to a 4-4-2 formation.
Sunderland (4-4-2): Simon Mignolet; Phil Bardsley, Michael Tunrer, John O'Shea; Kieran Richardson; Sebastian Larsson, Lee Cattermole (c), Craig Gardner, James McClean; Stephane Sessegnon, Nicklas Bendtner
Substitutes: Craig Gordon, Wayne Bridge, Matt Kilgallon, Jack Colback, David Vaughan, David Meyler, Fraizer Campbell