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French Trio Fancied For Return

NUFC Logo Newcastle United FC

Moussa Sissoko, Mathieu Debuchy and Loic Remy are set to continue their respective comebacks from injury at Arsenal

By Tom Easterby


French trio Moussa Sissoko, Mathieu Debuchy and Loic Remy are all set to continue their respective comebacks from injury in Monday's clash with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium (8pm kick-off).

Full-back Debuchy and top scorer Remy, who has 13 Barclays Premier League goals to his name this season, both made substitute appearances in last weekend's narrow defeat to Swansea, but neither have started a game since a 4-1 win at Hull City in early March.

Sissoko, meanwhile, suffered a hamstring injury in a 4-0 reversal at Southampton earlier this month, forcing the former Toulouse man out of the Magpies' last two games.

However, United boss Alan Pardew has indicated that all three could be in line for starts in the capital as his Newcastle side - winless in five - bid to stop the rot.

"We have the return this week of our three French internationals," confirmed the manager.

"We've changed training this week a little bit. We've gone away from some of the power work that we do to a more technical week and certainly a lot more running this week for those guys, so I think they'll be up to speed and I think they'll be very important in this game and they'll give us a better footing.

"We need to show that we're a good team and that we're together, and that the recent run that we've had, we need to put it right with a committed performance.

"We can't determine the result at Arsenal but we can determine the performance level and that's really something I'll be striving for the team to do."

In a week in which 17-year-old Adam Armstrong came off the bench to make his home debut, defender Lubo Satka grabbed his first goals for United's under-21s and goalkeeper Freddie Woodman made his second-string bow, Pardew feels the good work being put in at the Club's Academy is finally paying dividends.

A number of promising youngsters, he says, have been earmarked as potential first-teamers of the future.

"I certainly feel, in my third year, that we are stronger now than we've ever been since I've been here," he said.

"Certainly we have eyes on four or five of the youngsters here who could come through, and with good reason to as well.

"They've shown real quality this year and now it's about how they progress to the next level, and that's an area that we really need to focus on next year."