Coloccini set for Newcastle United return

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FABRICIO Coloccini is ready to face whatever Manchester United throw at him – after a extended stay in his native Argentina.

The Newcastle United captain will start tomorrow night’s third-round Capital One Cup tie at Old Trafford.

It will be Colccini’s first appearance in more than three weeks, the defender having suffered a hamstring problem while on international duty earli

Manager Alan Pardew allowed Coloccini to stay in Argentina for treatment, and he believes that decision has hastened his return from the injury.

“He has been with his national team medics,” Pardew said. “He’s stayed in the warmth, which is obviously better for a hamstring, and he’s worked with the Argentina national team.

“They’re focused on the injury, as it was done with them. I was happy for them to do that.

“I’m really pleased how he has come back – he’s ahead of schedule.

“Sometimes, when you get injured, you have to do what’s right for the individual player, and it looks like we got that right with Colo. I know him, and he’s fine. He’s trained and he’ll come back stronger.”

Pardew is adamant that the side he fields at Old Trafford will be strong enough to book a place in the Capital One Cup’s fourth round, though he will make a number of changes for tomorrow night’s game.

Mindful of Saturday’s Premier League game against Reading, and a congested fixture calendar, the likes of Demba Ba and Hatem Ben Arfa are expected to be rested. But the spine of the team is likely to be strong.

“We’ll be strong on Wednesday,” said Pardew. “There’ll be three or four players that I will need to rest for Reading, for sure. But all the teams in this competition will be the same. There are just too many games for players to play in every single one.”