Gareth Southgate has concerns over the fitness of Jeremie Aliadiere (groin), who played in Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Wigan, and Emanuel Pogatetz (ankle), who missed the midweek game.
Turkey striker Tuncay Sanli (hamstring), who was said to be a Newcastle target in the summer, will definitely miss the game. Tuncay has played well this season and already scored some memorable goals for the Tees-side team.
Egyptian Mido, who was signed from Tottenham Hotspur and seems to have gained some weight, could start for the first time this year. There are also Middlesbrough doubts over the fitness of former Arsenal striker Jeremie Aliadiere (groin), who played in Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Wigan, and Emanuel Pogatetz (ankle), who missed out at Wigan.
On the Newcastle side of things midfielder Emre returns to the squad after completing his three-match ban for being sent off against Stoke City.
Former Middlesbrough striker Mark Viduka could return from the calf injury which has seen him miss the last several games, and full-back Jose Enrique is still very doubtful with a calf strain, and will probably not be risked.
Joey Barton could figure at St James’ Park for the first time since his latest altercation on 27th December, and Senegalese Habib Beye and Abdoulaye Faye, are on their way back to Tyneside, from the African Cup of Nations, and apparently not in time for the game this afternoon.
With Enrique not being fit we think Keegan will now field the following team:
Carr Taylor Cacapa Nâ€™Zogbia
Milner Emre Butt Duff
Subs: Harper Edgar Barton Lua Lua Smith
The game is just a little more than two hours off now, and hopefully it will be a turning point for Newcastle this season, we certainly hope so.
Comments very welcome.