STEPHANE Sessegnon faces a return trip to Africa just days before next week’s Tyne-Wear derby.
The Sunderland hitman has been named in the 17-man Benin squad for Wednesday’s African Cup of Nations qualifier in Ethiopia.
While many of Sunderland’s squad are on international duty next week, the Black Cats will be sweating on the condition of the ever-present Sessegnon.
The 27-year-old has emerged as the key figure for the Wearsiders this season and Sunderland will be desperate for him to play a pivotal part in the trip to Tyneside on Sunday, March 1.
Newcastle have similar worries of their own though, with Papiss Demba Cisse selected in the Senegal squad for a qualifier in South Africa, though Demba Ba has been left out of the squad.