Newcastle striker Shola Ameobi is struggling to make the Boxing Day clash with Manchester City.
Ameobi would have missed the postponed Barclays Premier League trip to Birmingham last weekend with a hamstring injury, and is likely to miss out on Saturday.
However, defender Sol Campbell has shaken off the bout of illness which threatened his participation at St Andrews, and he and Steven Taylor will fight to keep their places as Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson belatedly return from suspension.
Keeper Steve Harper, who was an unused substitute for the 3-1 victory over Liverpool on his return from shoulder surgery, is pushing to replace Tim Krul, but Dan Gosling (knee), Ryan Taylor (ankle ligaments) and Hatem Ben Arfa (double leg fracture) are still out.
Team (from): Harper, Krul, Simpson, Perch, Ferguson, Enrique, Coloccini, Williamson, S. Taylor, Campbell, Kadar, Barton, Tiote, Smith, Routledge, Gutierrez, Guthrie, Nolan, Vuckic, Tavernier, Donaldson, Carroll, Lovenkrands, Ranger, Xisco.
Nigel de Jong will return from suspension as Manchester City look to get their Premier League challenge back on track at Newcastle on Boxing Day.
Defeat to Everton on Monday cost City their chance to spend Christmas at the top of the table for the first time in 81 years but they are undefeated away from Eastlands since the end of October and will fancy their chances of completing a league double over the Magpies.
Mario Balotelli has shrugged off a minor knee ailment and is expected to be part of Roberto Mancini's squad, while Pablo Zabaleta (ankle) is also set to report fit.
Team (from): Hart, Given, Zabaleta, Richards, Boateng, K Toure, Kompany, Boyata, Kolarov, Lescott, Bridge, Wright-Phillips, Johnson, De Jong, Vieira, Milner, Y Toure, Barry, Silva, Tevez, Adebayor, Balotelli, Jo.