Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has received a double boost ahead of his first Tyne-Wear derby.
Left-back Kieran Richardson, who scored the winner in the reverse fixture two seasons ago, has finally shaken off the hamstring injury he suffered in the Carling Cup defeat by West Ham in September and is available.
Winger Ahmed Elmohamady is also fit despite suffering a foot problem in last weekend’s 1-0 win over Aston Villa, while Andy Reid (hamstring) has returned to training.
David Meyler (knee) has trained all week, but the game will come too soon for him, while Fraizer Campbell (also knee) remains on the sidelines.
Newcastle boss Chris Hughton will welcome back his big guns for the derby clash.
Hughton rested nine of the men who started last weekend’s 2-1 win at West Ham for the midweek Carling Cup tie with Arsenal as only goalkeeper Tim Krul and central defender Mike Williamson were retained.
Sol Campbell (thigh) misses out, as do long-term absentees Steve Harper (shoulder), Leon Best (ankle), Hatem Ben Arfa (double leg fracture) and Dan Gosling (knee). There will be no place in the squad for local boy Steven Taylor, despite his return to full training after shoulder injury.
Kick-off at St James’ Park is 1:30pm.
Newcastle (from): Krul, Soderberg, R Taylor, Simpson, Perch, Ferguson, Enrique, Coloccini, Williamson, Kadar, Smith, Tiote, Barton, Routledge, Gutierrez, Guthrie, Vuckic, Tavernier, Donaldson, Nolan, Carroll, Ameobi, Lovenkrands, Ranger.
Sunderland (from): Mignolet, Gordon, Onuoha, Bardsley, Richardson, Angeleri, Bramble, Turner, Ferdinand, Mensah, Da Silva, Cattermole, Riveros, Henderson, Malbranque, Elmohamady, Zenden, Bent, Gyan, Welbeck.