Papiss Cisse will be out to end his goal drought as Newcastle United seek a third straight Premier League win in their clash with Hull City.
Newcastle head into Saturday’s game having recorded back-to-back wins following victories over Fulham and Aston Villa.
Alan Pardew’s men have not won three consecutive Premier League games since winning six on the bounce in March and April 2012.
If they are to do so again then they will need Cisse – who has not scored a Premier League goal since April – to begin showing some form.
Pardew admits that Cisse’s recent performances are a worry and hinted that the 28-year-old striker could be dropped if he continues to struggle.
“That is a concern. We have worked hard to find avenues for him to find that goal,” Pardew said.
“Hopefully we can create more opportunities.
“But it will be tough for him if he doesn’t get it. We have competition for places.”
Newcastle will be without defender Steven Taylor due to a knock, while Jonas Gutierrez (hamstring), Massadio Haidara and Ryan Taylor (both knee) are also unavailable.
Shola Ameobi and Mike Williamson (both knocks) are doubtful, and Gabriel Obertan is out with a hamstring problem.
Hull approach the game after a 1-1 draw with Cardiff City, but should take hope from their recent record at St James’ Park, where they have won on three of their last four visits.
Manager Steve Bruce will be without midfielder Robert Koren, who has a fractured foot, and will make late checks on Robbie Brady and Maynor Figueroa (both suffering with unspecified knocks), but striker Yannick Sagbo returns from suspension.
Hull have won just one of their last 11 games in the Premier League, but Bruce is confident that Sagbo – dismissed against Norwich City for headbutting Ricky van Wolfswinkel – will have an impact.
“He’s a different option for us. We’re a little bit light up there but he’s like a new player coming through the door again. That should be good for us,” Bruce commented.
“He’s served his suspension and hopefully learned from it. He owes us and he owes the lads but he knows that. He gives us that little bit of firepower.”