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Newcastle v Doncaster preview

23 Oct 2009 12:31:41

Newcastle v Doncaster preview

Newcastle host Doncaster at St James' Park on Saturday looking to return to winning ways after a poor run of form. The Magpies' four-match winless streak - including successive defeats to Nottingham Forest and Scunthorpe this week - have seen them drop from the summit of the Championship to second on goal difference. But Chris Hughton's side will be hopeful against a Doncaster team who have yet to win on the road in the league this term. But Sean O'Driscoll's team will be buoyed by their 3-1 victory over Peterborough last time - their first win in the Championship since August. Magpies newsSkipper Alan Smith will be missing through suspension after he picked up his fifth booking of the season in Tuesday night's 2-1 defeat at Scunthorpe. He must serve a one-game ban but caretaker-manager Hughton has been boosted by the return of Argentina international defender Fabricio Coloccini, who is available after missing the last four matches with a groin injury. Steven Taylor (hamstring) remains on the sidelines, although he could return for the trip to Sheffield United on 2nd November, while long-term absentees Shola Ameobi and Joey Barton (both foot) are still some way from being able to resume training. Rovers newsDoncaster defender Gareth Roberts is expected to return to the squad for the clash. Roberts missed the midweek win over Peterborough with a calf strain, so James Chambers stepped up and manager O'Driscoll must decide who to start with. Recent signing Simon Gillett will be in contention despite sustaining a thigh injury against Peterborough, but O'Driscoll is still without skipper Brian Stock (knee) and central defenders Adam Lockwood (foot) and Byron Webster (elbow). Sam Hird is likely to partner on-loan Jason Shackell at the heart of defence. Sean McDaid and Steve Brooker (both knee) remain sidelined, but midfielder Mark Wilson is hoping to play a bigger role after returning to the substitutes' bench in midweek following a calf injury.


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