Mid-table Newcastle and Stoke fight for top-half berth at St James’ Park
Having been appointed manager until the end of the season, John Carver got off to the perfect start with a 3-0 win at Hull last weekend.
Along with rounding off a brilliant opening to his fledgling managerial career, victory would see the Toon leapfrog Stoke into the top half of the table and bolster JC’s claims for the role on a more permanent basis.
Newcastle will be boosted by the return Paul Dummett (hamstring), Gabriel Obertan (thigh) and Ryan Taylor (knee) who are fit and will be included in the squad.
Striker Papiss Cisse has a week’s training under his belt following his return from the Africa Cup of Nations and could feature.
Siem de Jong (thigh) and Rolando Aarons (hamstring) need a little more time, while Davide Santon, Remie Streete, Shane Ferguson, Kevin Mbabu, Gael Bigirimana and Haris Vuckic all left the club on loan on Monday.
Stoke will be without skipper Ryan Shawcross for the trip to Tyneside. The centre-half is set to be absent for the next few games because of a back problem that forced him off in the first half of last Saturday’s 3-1 win over QPR.
Walters is a doubt due to a knee problem that has prevented him from training this week, although Hughes is hopeful the forward will be available.
HOWAY THE LADS
Newcastle Krul; Janmaat, Coloccini (c), Williamson, Haïdara; Sissoko, Anita, Colback; Cabella, Perez, Ameobi.
Subs Woodman, Dummett, Abeid, Obertan, Gouffran, Rivière, Cissé.
Stoke Begovic; Bardsley, Muniesa, Wollscheid, Wilson; Whelan (c), Nzonzi; Walters, Ireland, Moses; Diouf
Subs Butland; Cameron, Wilkinson, Palacios, Adam, Sidwell, Crouch