Ayoze Perez has this week trained at his highest levels since November.

Newcastle Head Coach John Carver has connected the improved performance with the Spanish striker and his teammates having time off due to the FA Cup free weekend.

Carver says that he had been considering taking the Spaniard out of the firing line but after seeing how he’s worked in training, Perez will keep his place this afternoon.

“I toyed with the idea of giving him a rest as he has been one of our mainline strikers and done incredibly well.

“The fact he has had a few days off from training – he came back lively on Monday and has had a good week. The last time he had a similar week then his physical stats, at West Ham, were at their highest.

“So I’ve looked at it closely and think he needs to play. I know that City think an awful lot about him as well, so he is going to be a threat.”

Having both Papiss Cisse and Ayoze Perez on the pitch is a no-brainer for me, easily our most likely pair of players to score a goal or make something happen.

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