New Newcastle boss Alan Pardew will hope for a major fitness boost as he prepares for his first game in charge against Liverpool on Saturday night.
Midfielder Joey Barton missed last weekend’s 3-1 defeat at West Brom with a slight groin injury which delayed his return from a three-match ban, while skipper Kevin Nolan is expected to be fit following the ankle problem which has sidelined him for the last two games.
Danny Guthrie was stretchered off at the Hawthorns with an ankle injury, but the damage is not as serious as was first feared and he could yet retain his place in the squad.
Steve Harper played a reserve team game in midweek on his return from shoulder surgery and is continuing his quest for full fitness, and Leon Best (ankle) is also on the comeback trail.
But Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson serve the final leg of their own three-match bans and Dan Gosling (knee), Ryan Taylor (ankle ligaments) Hatem Ben Arfa (double leg fracture) are still out.
Striker Fernando Torres returns to Liverpool’s starting line-up on Tyneside.
The Spain international missed Monday’s victory over Aston Villa to be at the birth of his second child but comes straight back into the team, with Ryan Babel most likely to make way.
Captain Steven Gerrard is still a week away from making his comeback from a hamstring injury, so manager Roy Hodgson is likely to retain all but one of the side who comfortably beat Villa.
Newcastle (from): Krul, Soderberg, Simpson, Perch, Ferguson, Enrique, S. Taylor, Campbell, Kadar, Barton, Tiote, Smith, Routledge, Gutierrez, Guthrie, Nolan, Vuckic, Tavernier, Donaldson, Carroll, Ameobi, Lovenkrands, Ranger, Xisco.
Liverpool (from): Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Kyrgiakos, Konchesky, Lucas, Meireles, Kuyt, Rodriguez, Torres, Ngog, Jones, Aurelio, Kelly, Poulsen, Jovanovic, Cole, Babel, Shelvey.