Former England international Sol Campbell will step up his bid for first-team action with a third run-out for Newcastle's reserves against Chelsea on Thursday night.

Campbell, who will celebrate his 35th birthday on Saturday when the Magpies visit Everton in the Barclays Premier League, has played 45 minutes for the second string against Sunderland and an hour against Liverpool as he attempts to reach full match fitness.

He is likely to taste further action at St James' Park to put himself in position to challenge Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson for a senior debut for the club at Goodison Park.

Campbell, who missed the start of pre-season training following his marriage this summer, was an unused substitute for last Saturday's 2-0 home defeat by Blackpool.

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Sol Campbell