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Guthrie battling to be fit to face Swansea

FITNESS FIGHT ... Newcastle United's Danny Guthrie, left, and Norwich City's Kyle Naughton battle for the ball.

FITNESS FIGHT ... Newcastle United's Danny Guthrie, left, and Norwich City's Kyle Naughton battle for the ball.

ALAN Pardew’s sweating on the fitness of Danny Guthrie ahead of Newcastle United’s Good Friday visit to Swansea City.

The midfielder limped out of last weekend’s 2-0 win over Liverpool after suffering a calf injury.

And Guthrie was this week being assessed by the club’s medical staff ahead of the visit to the Liberty Stadium.

Aston Villa set to swoop for Newcastle United midfielder Guthrie

However, the odds are seemingly against the 24-year-old – one of the few players left from Newcastle’s last visit to Swansea two years ago – proving his fitness in time to face Brendan Rodgers’s side.

“Danny pulled his calf – we’ll have to see,” Pardew told the Gazette.

Should Guthrie fail to prove his fitness, Pardew would most likely push Jonas Gutierrez back into midfield, the club’s stand-in captain having played at left-back against Liverpool.

A late equaliser from Andy Carroll earned United a point from the club’s first visit to the Liberty Stadium in February 2010.

Pardew will definitely be without skipper Fabricio Coloccini – who is out with a hamstring injury – for the first Premier League meeting between the two sides at the ground.

Coloccini is also expected to miss the Easter Monday game against Bolton Wanderers at St James’s Park.

Meanwhile, Pardew’s looking for another big performance from Hatem Ben Arfa, who has been outstanding in United’s last two games.

Ben Arfa has set up four goals and scored one himself against Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion.

“I’m highly delighted with Hatem, and he should be highly delighted himself,” said Pardew.

“He’s had to be patient. I’ve been drilling things into him about the responsibilities in this team.

“Then he’s had to bring his flair. He’s doing his responsibilities, and he’s showing his amazing ability.”

* A youthful Newcastle United reserve team was beaten 5-0 by Fulham in a behind-closed-doors game at Motspur Park yesterday.

 

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