With only 48 hours to go before the crucial derby game, the great news is that Chancel Mbemba has returned to full training on Friday morning.

Since limping off during the defeat to Everton at Goodison Park in early February, Newcastle have gone on to lose four of their five matches and concede 10 goals in the process.

Newcastle’s best signing of last summer had been an ever present in the Premier League until picking up that injury, often fighting a lone battle to stem the goals as the defence fell apart around him.

It will be a massive boost in the relegation fight to have Chancel Mbemba available and Rafa Benitez may be forced to throw him into the Sunderland game even if he isn’t 100%….

As well as revealing Mbemba being back in full training today, Sky Sports’ man in the north east Keith Downie has also revealed that Fabricio Coloccini didn’t train today – more or less ensuring surely that he will take no part against Sunderland.

However, more surprising is that Downie also revealed that Steven Taylor also was nowhere to be seen today on teh training pitch.

This news suggesting there is every chance that we could see an all new partnership of Chancel Mbemba and Jamaal Lascelles playing together in the middle.

Another back-up plan could see Daryl Janmaat moved across, as he has done in the past.

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