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Bassong back to boost Toon defence

10 Apr 2009 10:00:00

Bassong back to boost Toon defence

Newcastle hope to have Sebastien Bassong back in their defence for Saturday's crucial Premier League clash with Stoke at the Britannia Stadium.The Frenchman has returned to training after the groin injury which kept him out of last weekend's 2-0 defeat by Chelsea, and Alan Shearer is hopeful he will be fit to start.However, Steven Taylor (ankle) and Jose Enrique (knee) have already been ruled out, as has midfielder Peter Lovenkrands, who was taken to hospital with breathing difficulties as the result of a chest infection during Saturday's game.Teenage striker Nile Ranger is included in the squad, but Joey Barton (fractured metatarsal) and Mark Viduka (Achilles) will not return to full training until next week.Kick-off at the Britannia Stadium is at 5.30pm.Magpies (from): Harper, Forster, Krul, Beye, Bassong, Coloccini, Edgar, Cacapa, Butt, Duff, R. Taylor, Gutierrez, Nolan, Guthrie, Geremi, Smith, Martins, Owen, Carroll, Xisco, Ranger.


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