Newcastle United Internationals: A Brief Catch-up - Tim Krul Dutch #1, Ba, Cisse and Tiote In Action

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 05: Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse (l) listens to team mate Demba Ba on his debut during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Aston Villa at Sports Direct Arena on February 5, 2012 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Good weekend to you all! Even though there is no match for the Toon this weekend thanks to the International break, there is a bit of activity out there regarding Newcastle players. First, it appears that Tim Krul has finally overtaken Maarten Stekelenburg for the Netherlands' gloves!

"The trainers took me aside on Tuesday, and told me I was currently Netherlands' No.1 keeper. It's dream come true, something I've always hoped for. Fantastic," he added.

On the heels of a number of shaky performances by Stekelenburg, I don't think the change in and of itself is much of a surprise. Tim's selection, however, may be considered a touch of a surprise as he has consistently been listed third choice behind Stekelenburg as well as Swansea Cit's Michel Vorm. He did keep a clean sheet for the Dutch v. Turkey, although it sounds like there was a touch of "getting to know you" between he and his defense during the match.

Also today, the first leg of the crucial African Cup of Nations playoff between the Ivory Coast and Senegal will kick off. In a little under an hour (kick is at 1800 BST, 1200 CST), we will begin to figure out whether Newcastle will likely be without Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse for the month of January, or whether we will be limited to missing Cheik Tiote. The match will be live streamed via YouTube with English voice-over on the Orange CAF channel. Consider this your live thread if you are around and watching!

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