Mehdi Abeid and Davide Santon ready to stake Newcastle United claims

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A STRONG Newcastle United reserve side take on Swansea City tonight, writes MILES STARFORTH.

And midfielder Mehdi Abeid is among a clutch of players vying for involvement in Saturday’s visit to Wolves.

Defender Davide Santon flew with Peter Beardsley’s squad to Wales this morning for the fixture, which is being played at Llanelli’s Parc y Scarlets (7pm).

Summer signing Santon – who is yet to make his Newcastle debut – had fluid trained from his knee last week, and after successfully returning to training, the 20-year-old has a chance of being involved at Molineux on Saturday.

Abeid, Dan Gosling, Nile Ranger, Shane Ferguson and Rob Elliot are also in the squad for the game (7pm kick off).

While the starting XI has almost picked itself in recent weeks, United manager Alan Pardew has said the competition for places on his bench has given him a headache.

And Abeid – who starred in last week’s Carling Cup win over Nottingham Forest – knows the importance of seizing every opportunity at Newcastle, no matter at what level.

“It’s really good for the young players – the coach can watch us, and see what we can do,” Abeid said. “That’s really important for the young players.

“I work hard every day in training, and I hope to do really well (against Swansea) to show the gaffer that when he needs me, I can play for the team.”

Abeid shot to prominance in the club’s tour of the USA in July, having been promoted to the first-team squad after two weeks of pre-season training.

“I had a very good pre-season in America – it was really good, and I learnt a lot from really good players,” added the 19-year-old, signed from Lens this summer.

Meanwhile, Beardsley is looking forward to seeing Santon in action.

“Having a couple of first-teamers in the squad is good for us, and obviously good for them,” he said.