Captain Coloccini could return for Villa clash

Newcastle United could be boosted by the return of captain Fabricio Coloccini from a knee injury for Sunday's showdown with Aston Villa.

The 32-year-old centre-back has not featured since New Year's Day, when he was forced to to come in the 65th minute in a defeat at West Brom.

Newcastle's form has dipped in the Premier League and Alan Pardew's side are currently on a four-match winless run, including three straight defeats.

Coloccini's return would be a welcome boost for Pardew, who has seen his side ship 10 goals in their last three league matches.

"Colo's worked hard, and he's looking better," Pardew told the Shields Gazette. 

"He was in all weekend, so he's had four or five days."

Striker Loic Remy will also be available following a three-match suspension, while Cheick Tiote could feature after a two-game layoff with a hamstring problem.

"Loic's available, Cheick's running and Colo's trained," Pardew added.