ALAN Pardew will make a late decision on Joey Barton and Stephen Ireland’s availability for the Everton game.
But Shola Ameobi is set to return to the Newcastle United squad, as is Danny Guthrie, who missed last Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Bolton Wanderers with a hamstring problem.
Barton and Ireland both have thigh injuries, and with Ryan Taylor suspended after his dismissal against Bolton, Guthrie’s return to fitness could prove timely.
“Joey is 50-50, but unfortunately so is Stephen Ireland,” said Pardew.
“He’s came back from a long-term injury, and his knee is fine, and then he’s picked up a little pain somewhere else, that’s normally the way.
“Whether it keeps him out, I don’t know. Both of those up in the air. They both have the same injury.”
Ameobi has trained all week wearing a mask to protect the cheekbone he fractured at Fulham last month, and could make his comeback.
Guthrie, linked with a loan move to Nottingham Forest last week, is available.
Pardew has insisted there’s no way the midfielder is leaving on loan, though he could yet farm out one or more of the club’s development squad.
“I don’t know where that come from,” said Pardew. “I do think he’s got a chance, absolutely, I like him.
“There’s nobody going out on loan, apart from possibly from the younger lads.”
Meanwhile, Pardew has revealed there’s unlikely to be any further news on Barton’s contract until the summer.
The midfielder had all but agreed a new deal which would see him take a pay cut, but negotiations have since stalled.
Pardew is also keen to speak to Jose Enrique about a fresh contract, but the left-back is unwilling to enter substantive talks until the club is safe.
“Most of the players will run with these contracts until the summer, and we’ll then go from there,” said Pardew. “There might be one or two exceptions to that.
“They have been absolutely different class the players here. You can’t knock them, and we hope it continues.”