Pardew handed defensive boost

Newcastle United

Fabricio Coloccini is expected to shrug off an injury to lead Newcastle's bid to extend their unbeaten start against Wigan.

Coloccini has been battling to overcome a toe problem but the injury is not serious and manager Alan Pardew expects him to be fit for the visit of the struggling Latics, who have lost their last five matches.

Pardew has virtually a fully-fit squad to choose from for Saturday’s clash with Haris Vuckic available despite a broken hand, while veteran Alan Smith has recovered from a hamstring injury.

Centre back Mike Williamson is the only long-term absentee as he struggles to overcome an ankle problem, having recovered from surgery on a fractured arm.