Alan Smith will miss this afternoon’s game against Barnsley.
Alan apparently has picked up an injury in training and misses out this afternoon, and it looks like Danny Guthrie will play in central midfield, because Chris Hughton has brought in Fabrice Pancrate to play out on the right wing.
The Frenchman has his first start since the 2-2 draw at Barnsley, surprisingly enough, back in December at Oakwell, when the score was 2-2.
That’s a good formation because both Danny and Fabrice will be playing in their strongest positions this afternoon.
The last two times Danny Guthrie has started in midfield at St. James’ Park the lads won 5-1 against Cardiff City and 4-1 against Coventry City, probably because Danny is an attacking midfielder and was spraying passes all over the park during those two games.
As expected Jose Enrique returns to the left-back position, after being out for around six weeks and a seven-game absence.
Peter Lovenkrands is preferred to Leon Best in attack, as expected, and will partner the in-form Andy Carroll up front.
Howay The Lads!!
Newcastle United: Steve Harper, Danny Simpson, Fabricio Coloccini, Mike Williamson, Jose Enrique, Fabrice Pancrate, Kevin Nolan (c), Danny Guthrie, Jonas Gutierrez, Andy Carroll, Peter Lovenkrands
Subs: Fitz Hall, Ryan Taylor, Leon Best, Tim Krul, Tamas Kadar, Nicky Butt, Nile Ranger
Barnsley: Luke Steele, Stephen Foster (c), Carl Dickinson, Nathan Doyle, Filipe Teixeira, Hugo Colace, Emil Hallfredsson, Bobby Hassell, Ryan Shotton, Andy Gray, Anderson De Silva
Subs: David Preece, Adam Hammill, Iain Hume, Luke Porter, Jonathan Macken, Daniel Bogdanovic, Darren Moore
Referee: Grant Hegley