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YOAN GOUFFRAN is targeting a return to action when Newcastle United line up against Southampton on February 24.

Gouffran’s shin injury is not as bad as first feared and the player walked unaided on to the plane back to Tyneside on Saturday afternoon.

The Frenchman had made a trip to hospital after Kyle Walker’s reckless challenge but despite fears that he’d broken his leg an x-ray delivered some good news.

Gouffran is cup-tied and would have had to sit out the two Europa League clashes with Metalist Kharkov in the next two weeks.

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Newcastle United player Cheick Tiote has had his car seized by police after being arrested on suspicion of fraud.

The 26-year-old midfielder was stopped by police on Tuesday near the club's training ground on suspicion of fraud in relation to driving offences.

His car, a Chevrolet Camaro estimated to be worth about £75,000, was seized by Northumbria Police, who said inquiries were ongoing.

Police also said it took 24 policeman, 10 Police dogs and a grenade launcher to take his statement.

Police spokesman said..." It was Cheick Tiote FFS ! We couldn't take any chances in case we pissed him off "

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Nightshift tonight, so not even able to watch game on telly :(

Newcastle are without January signings Yoan Gouffran and Mathieu Debuchy for the Europa League clash with Ukrainian side Metalist Kharkiv.

The duo are cup-tied, having already played for French sides Bordeaux and Lille respectively in this season's competition.

Gouffran would be unavailable anyway as he recovers from a leg injury.

Hatem Ben Arfa (knee) remains out and fellow midfielder Sammy Ameobi is missing with a hamstring problem.

Metalist won four of their six games in Group K, their only defeat coming at Rapid Vienna.

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two disallowed goals - i would have given at least one of them - could be difficult away leg.

In the first one the Newcastle player was at least a meter onside. You could see that without any replay. What was the linesman thinking? But the second one was offside. Very close, but his upper body and his head were infront of the defender.

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Metalist Kharkiv V NEWCASTLE UNITED The first match at St James' Park ended in a 0-0 draw.

Hatem Ben Arfa will miss Newcastle's second leg last 32 Europa League tie at Metalist Kharkiv despite having recovered from his hamstring injury.

The 25-year-old France midfielder has returned to training having been sidelined since December.

Full-back Davide Santon has been rested but January signings Massadio Haidara, Mapou Yanga Mbiwa and Moussa Sissoko are all included.

Newcastle created several chances to score, with striker Papiss Cisse missing good opportunities and having two goals disallowed for offside.

Fellow forward Shola Ameobi is confident his team-mate will find the net on Thursday.

"Papiss is pretty easy-going and he knows he is going to get chances playing in this team," said the 31-year-old.

"With the players he has got behind him feeding, he is going to get chances to score goals, and hopefully he can do that on Thursday.

"When he gets on a roll, there's no stopping him, so hopefully he can keep getting into those positions and he can start banging them away."

Meanwhile, Metalist Kharkiv manager Myron Markevych believes the Magpies should be in the top 10 of the Premier League.

"As I said after the first game, Newcastle are a very good team and they shouldn't be in the position they are in," he said of the 16th-placed team. "They should be in the top 10 minimum."

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Another massive win for Newcastle with the help of another wonderful Papiss Cisse goal, looks like he's coming back into a bit form.

Man of the match Debuchy, a crackin' player. Credit to the saints, a very good game.

Newcastle United 4 southampton 2

both teams wont go down.

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