The Chronicle released pictures of the team training indoors yesterday following the snow on Tyneside, and all three were pictured taking part in the session – however there was no sign of Jonjo Shelvey, Paul Dummett or Ciaran Clark.
Diame’s return could be huge. Shelvey looks like he’ll miss out again with an ongoing thigh problem and Ki is at the Asian Cup, so the Senegalese midfielder could make way for the want-away Isaac Hayden – setting up what could be a very capable partnership with impressive youngster Sean Longstaff IF Diame is indeed deemed fit enough to start.
Lascelles’ immediate return to training is a surprise, with the skipper looking as though he’d pulled a hamstring just a matter of days ago in our FA Cup replay at Blackburn. His presence could be key against a physical and direct Cardiff side, but we’re not exactly short on good centre-backs if he or Clark don’t make it – with Schar, Fernandez and Lejeune all ready to play.
Kenedy has had a bizarre toe-nail issue, with Rafa recently revealing that the player couldn’t even put on a boot as a result, but it seems that has settled down.