Ba winning race to face old club West Ham United

FITNESS FIGHT ... Newcastle's Demba Ba.
FITNESS FIGHT ... Newcastle's Demba Ba.

DEMBA Ba is winning his battle to face former club West Ham United at St James’s Park.

The Newcastle United striker suffered a recurrence of a shin injury in Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Liverpool at Anfield.

Midfielder Yohan Cabaye complained of a tight hamstring in the same game, but he came off the bench in last night’s 2-2 Europa League draw against Club Brugge in Belgium.

The duo will both start against the Hammers, while United manager Alan Pardew will make a late decision on defender Danny Simpson, who has a shoulder injury.

“Demba will be fine,” Pardew told the Gazette. “And we’ve all seen Cabaye play. We’ll wait and see on Danny.”

If Simpson doesn’t make it, then Vurnon Anita – who scored against Brugge – could continue at right-back, though Pardew has the option of switching Davide Santon from the other flank.

However, utility player James Perch is facing six weeks out with the thigh problem he suffered against Liverpool.

“The group is in a good place,” added Pardew.

“It’s a shame we have lost Perch for, I think, six weeks with that injury, because he’s had a great season for us. But the rest of the group have all got good confidence.”