Newcastle defender battling to face Everton

Massadio Haidara
Massadio Haidara

MASSADIO Haidara is touch and go for injury-hit Newcastle United’s visit to Goodison Park.

The defender missed last week’s home defeat to Manchester United with a knee injury.

Carver also hopes to have midfielder Remy Cabella and goalkeeper Rob Elliot back from their respective knee and thigh injuries.

Haidara had an injection after being forced off against Aston Villa, and the problem was this week being assessed ahead of Sunday’s game against Everton.

Ryan Taylor deputised for Haidara against Man United, and he is on standby to play against Roberto Martinez’s side, who face Dynamo Kiev in the Europa League on Thursday night.

Newcastle head coach John Carver – who has lost defenders Steven Taylor and Paul Dummett to season-ending injuries – also has Jonas Gutierrez pushing for a start.

Gutierrez – who replaced Taylor late in the Man United game – can also play at left-back.

But Haidara will be given every chance to prove his fitness head of the weekend.

Carver revealed after the Villa game that he 22-year-old has an “ongoing issue” with his knee, and the club won’t take any risks with him.

However, he is hopeful he will be available to face Everton, who are seven points behind 11th-placed United in the Premier League table.

“Hopefully, it settles down in time for Everton,” said Carver, who will have midfielder Jack Colback from suspension.

Carver also hopes to have midfielder Remy Cabella and goalkeeper Rob Elliot back from their respective knee and thigh injuries.

Taylor, meanwhile, is hoping to earn a new deal at St James’s Park, with his contract expiring in the summer.

The 30-year-old missed two years of football after twice-rupturing his cruciate ligament, but is now fit and determined to press his claims between now and the end of the campaign.