Preston boss Alan Irvine could hand a debut to Michael Tonge when Newcastle come to town for Monday's televised clash.

The 26-year-old Stoke midfielder has not featured for the Potters in the Premier League this season and has made just three Carling Cup appearances.

Tonge has joined on loan until December 28 and will be looking to help North End record their first win in four matches and prevent the Magpies from regaining top spot in the Championship.

Midfielder Barry Nicholson remains sidelined but is hoping to be back in action early next year as he recovers from a broken leg.

The Scot broke two bones in his right leg during the 2-0 victory over Peterborough in August.

Newcastle, meanwhile, are waiting for new signing Fabrice Pancrate to receive clearance to feature.

The French winger penned a deal over the weekend after a two-week trial period with the north-east club and he will be desperate to prove his credentials at Deepdale.

Chris Hughton has confirmed midfielder Jonas Gutierrez will be fit after pulling out of Argentina's squad due to a thigh problem sustained in the 3-1 win over Peterborough last time out.

Striker Shola Ameobi narrowly misses out, however, as he looks to return to first-team training on Tuesday following his lengthy spell on the sidelines with a foot injury.

Defender Zurab Khizanishvili serves the third and final game of his three-match suspension while long-term absentee Joey Barton remains out until the new year as he recovers from his foot operation.

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