Shola Ameobi, Joey Barton, Fabricio Coloccini, Ryan Taylor will all miss the game tonight through injury.
But Danny Simpson is fit again, as is Argentine Jonas Gutierrez and Danny Guthrie is available again after serving his one game ban.
Danny Simpson being available again is very timely since he can presumably slot straight in at right back and to make up a back four of Simpson, Taylor S. Khizanishvili and Enrique – which looks fairly solid.
As we’ve mentioned earlier this morning Chris Hughton will have some choice as to whom he plays in several positions,
In midfield he has Butt, Nolan, Guthrie, Geremi, Smith, Lovenkrands and Gutierrez to choose from, and up front he has Harewood, Carroll and Ranger.
We do expect Chris to put out an attacking team tonight that will go after QPR from the start, and we expect two to be playing up front.
This is the side we’d like to see start tonight
Simpson Taylor S. Khizanishvili Enrique
Nolan Smith (c) Butt Gutierrez
Subs: Krul Tozer Geremi Vuckic Harewood Lovenkrands Guthrie
There could be some changes there with both Harewood and Lovenkrands perhaps getting a start – but the bench tonight ia quite strong.
For QPR, Fritz Hall has returned to training after missing the last four games with a groin injury but the former Southampton defender will not be risked tonight.
Matt Connolly may return in defense after a virus but veteran midfielder Gareth Ainsworth and striker Angelo Balanta are still ruled out by hamstring and groin problems respectively.
And former Newcastle center-back Peter Ramage will likely continue on the bench, with Mikele Leigertwood in at right back.
QPR are in 12th place in the league with 13 points from 8 games, and they hammered Barnsley 5-2 at home on Saturday, alst time out. The London side have 7 points away from home, with two wins, so they may mount a challenge tonight.
But with the lads available we have we must we expected to be able to get all 3 points, and go 5 points clear of the second placed side – WBA, who of course have now lost their last 2 league games.
They lost 1-0 at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday and 3-1 last night at lowly Barnsley, who were beaten 5-2 at home by QPR on Saturday.
So WBA have cracked a little as have Middlesbrough, who have dropped 5 points in their last two games.
That’s even more reason why the team had to remain strong and keep winning these games, and not get too far ahead of themselves.
This is a home game Newcastle will be expected to win, but we’ve seen in the past, that none of these games are particularly easy.
But we have to hope that Newcastle will find what is needed to secure all 3 points come 9:45 pm tonight.
Let’s know what you think the team should be tonight.
Howay The Lads!!