New signings Leon Best and Fitz Hall will hope for Newcastle debuts in the home Championship showdown with Cardiff.

Best, the former Coventry striker, and defender Hall, signed on loan from QPR, will be included in the squad as the Magpies attempt to stretch their lead at the top of the table to six points.

Shola Ameobi (shoulder), Danny Simpson and Jonas Gutierrez (both ankle) are fit once again and teenage full-back Patrick van Aanholt, on loan from Chelsea, could be in line to make his first appearance at St James' Park.

However, Steven Taylor (knee) and Jose Enrique (hamstring) will be missing one again while midfielder Joey Barton is continuing his fight for full fitness after returning to training after a foot injury.

Gavin Rae will miss Cardiff`s first trip to Newcastle in 26 years having been ruled out for two to three weeks with a hamstring injury.

The central midfielder was forced off shortly after the hour mark in last weekend`s 2-1 win over Doncaster - a result which extended the cash-strapped club`s unbeaten sequence to eight games.

His absence provides manager Dave Jones with a midfield dilemma with Joe Ledley already sidelined following the first of two hip operations that could rule him out for the rest of the campaign.

Peter Whittingham is likely to move into the middle of the park and partner fit-again Aaron Wildig or Darcy Blake, with Chris Burke and Ross McCormack on either flank. Solomon Taiwo is another option.

Midfielder Stephen McPhail and defender Miguel Comminges have returned to training after lengthy absences but neither are ready for match action just yet.

Captain Mark Hudson (ankle), young striker Josh Magennis (broken fibula) and on-loan Kelvin Etuhu (ankle) all remain out for the long-term as the fourth-placed Bluebirds look to inflict a first home defeat of the season on the leaders.

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Topics:
Joey Barton
Chris Burke
Doncaster Rovers
Leon Best
Kelvin Etuhu
Solomon Taiwo
Football
Steven Taylor
Peter Whittingham
Aaron Wildig
Ross McCormack
Championship
Chelsea
Josh Magennis
Mark Hudson
Cardiff City
Newcastle United
Darcy Blake
Jose Enrique
Stephen McPhail
Joe Ledley
Fitz Hall
Queens Park Rangers
Gavin Rae
Mark Hudson
Danny Simpson
Patrick Van Aanholt
Mark Hudson
Jonas Gutierrez
Miguel Comminges
Shola Ameobi
Coventry City