NEWCASTLE United hope to have leading scorer Loic Remy back in action soon – to lift the gloom over the club.
Remy has missed the last five games with a calf problem.
Newcastle have scored just one goal in the 10 games he has not featured in this season.
Goalkeeper Tim Krul – who has sat out the heavy defeats to Manchester United and Southampton with a knee problem – could also be available.
“We’ve got to make sure everybody’s available,” said manager Alan Pardew.
“Maybe we’ll have Loic back (for Saturday’s game at Stoke), maybe Tim will be back.”
Remy’s return would be particularly significant given the way the team has struggled to even threaten the opposition’s goal in his absence.
Pardew added: “Loic is not far away – it will be a boost for the squad if we can get him back in and around us.
“Hopefully, we can for Stoke because that’s a big game for us. We have lost two heavily at home.”
Pardew’s side were again booed off the field after another heavy loss last weekend.
Newcastle were convincingly beaten 4-0 by Manchester United at St James’s Park.
The club’s form has dipped alarmingly since the sale of influential midfielder Yohan Cabaye in late January.
And Pardew’s position is again being questioned by fans – who have witnessed a series of abject performances – ahead of Saturday’s visit to the Britannia Stadium.
Pardew is acutely aware of the mood in the city, and he needs a result – and quickly.
“It’s a week where we going to have to take the criticism that comes our way,” Pardew admitted.
“But most importantly, we have to work between now and Stoke and get a formula to get us a result. That’s really what we need - a result and a goal or more.”