NEWCASTLE United will have their “creative force” back in the side at Elland Road.
Manager Alan Pardew is relishing having midfielders Joey Barton and Yohan Cabaye available again on Sunday.
The pair were denied work visas for the club’s three-game U.S. tour, and instead travelled to Holland with Peter Beardsley’s reserve team.
However, Barton and Cabaye return for Newcastle’s penultimate pre-season friendly against Leeds United.
And Pardew’s confident the pair will supply new signing Demba Ba with the kind of service he will thrive on, having been impressed with Ba’s movement in Tuesday night’s comfortable 3-0 win over Columbus Crew.
He said: “We’ll have a lot of creative force back in the team in Cabaye and Joey Barton.
“Some of Demba’s movement in the last game was encouraging, because against Leeds I expect to see technicians like Joey and Yohan picking that out.
“We’re going to be really threatening the goal and both of them will enjoy playing with Demba Ba.”
United’s other playmaker, Hatem Ben Arfa, will miss the start of the season with the ankle injury he suffered against Sporting Kansas City last week.
However, Pardew is hopeful he’ll be back early in the campaign.
“Don’t forget we still have Ben Arfa to come back from his injury, and that’ll be a really big bonus for the whole team,” said Pardew.
“There’s a great chance that the creativity will bring out more from the whole team and encourage everybody.”
n SOUTH Shields Mags are running a coach to Newcastle United’s friendly against Leeds at Elland Road on Sunday from the Lord Ashley pub, Stanhope Road. To book a seat, call Kris on 07730 508 362.