We're just a few hours away from the beginning of the post-Steven Taylor era at Newcastle. Here are your last minute updates on Taylor and other injured players.
The aforementioned Steven Taylor is out for the season with a ruptured Achilles' tendon. (BBC) His replacement for the foreseeable future will be James Perch, who came on for the injured Fabricio Coloccini last week against Chelsea. (NUFC Official Site)
Coloccini, who is suffering from back problems, is characterized as a game time decision. (Shields-Gazette) Tamas Kadar has been told to be on standby, and Alan Pardew has mentioned that he could also move Danny Simpson to the inside while presumably playing Davide Santon in his normal wide position on the right (The Journal), or use Santon himself. Mike Williamson, who would normally be an easy choice for center back under these circumstances, is still out with an ankle injury.
Cheik Tiote is out for a seventh straight match as he recovers from his MCL injury. His replacement, Danny Guthrie, is said to be out for 4 to 6 weeks with a groin injury. (Yahoo!) The third string would appear to be a choice between Mehdi Abeid, who has returned from international duty, Haris Vuckic, Dan Gosling, or Alan Smith, with Alan Pardew perhaps preferring Mehdi to Rumble Abeid. (The Chronicle)
Sylvain Marveaux is still out after having groin surgery.
Jonas Gutierrez will return from suspension and should start on the left wing.
For Norwich City, center back Zak Whitbread is expected to return from a hamstring injury, while Ritchie de Laet (back), James Vaughan (knee), and Elliott Ward (knee) are out. (Yahoo!)
Final Selection Guesses
NCFC (4-4-2): Ruddy | Naughton, Barnett, Martin, Tierney | Bennett, Johnson, Crofts, Pilkington | Morison, Holt
Subs: Rudd, Wilbraham, Jackson, Whitbread, Holt, Hoolahan, Fox
NUFC (4-4-1-1): Krul | Santon, Simpson, Perch, RTaylor | Obertan, Cabaye, Abeid, Jonas | Ben Arfa | Ba
Subs: Elliot, Kadar, Lovenkrands, Gosling, Vuckic, Shola, Best