CHEIK Tiote is battling to be fit for Newcastle United’s visit to the Britannia Stadium.
But even if he fails to prove his fitness in time, the midfielder’s still confident the club can overcome Stoke City.
Tiote sat out Wednesday night’s Carling Cup defeat against Blackburn Rovers with a knee injury.
And manager Alan Pardew would love to have the combative player back in his starting XI for the physical as well as footballing challenge which awaits them in the Potteries.
However, the 25-year-old remains a doubt for fourth-placed Newcastle, who are still unbeaten in the Premier League.
Danny Guthrie deputised for Tiote at Ewood Park, and the 24-year-old is on standby for Pardew should his colleague’s injury fail to clear up over the weekend.
SEE Saturday’s Mail for more Newcastle news