Newcastle v Everton
St James' Park
Saturday 5 November 2011, 12:45
Barclays Premier League
Cheik Tiote missed Newcastle's Barclays Premier League victory over Stoke on Monday with a knee injury, and the midfielder faces a late fitness test ahead of this weekend's Everton encounter.
Magpies boss Alan Pardew will definitely be without the services of Gabriel Obertan, after the winger was ruled out of action for at least three weeks with a toe infection.
Meanwhile, David Moyes is sweating on the fitness of Sylvain Distin, Phil Neville and Tim Cahill who are all doubts, while Marouane Fellaini is suspended.
However, Toffees loanee Royston Drenthe is available again after returning from a one-game ban.
Toon success is Taylor-made
Alan Pardew has praised the contribution of defensive duo Steven and Ryan Taylor, who have been instrumental to Newcastle's unbeaten start to the 2011-12 campaign.
Nobody expected the Magpies to be lying third in the Barclays Premier League table after ten games, but they have confounded their critics in style and have an opportunity to move into second place with victory over Everton at St James' Park in Saturday's lunchtime kick-off.
The Newcastle boss has been impressed with the way the majority of his squad have dealt with recent adversity, but paid special tribute to the two Taylor's who have excelled on Tyneside so far this campaign.
"Steven definitely has a feeling for the club above other players, without a shadow of a doubt," said Pardew. "Little things he says and does - he knows.
"He's been here through some of the good years, so he knows that this is a big, big club and if we can get a competitive team, then the fans can carry us to who knows where."
The 25-year-old has established a rock solid central defensive partnership with club captain Fabricio Coloccini, which has been effectively supplemented by the form of Ryan Taylor at left-back.
"I'm absolutely delighted with him," added Pardew. He has got a real confidence about him.
"The one thing we always knew is his technique is top, top quality. He has just fitted in and seems more comfortable at left-back than he does anywhere else.
"He has proved to a lot of people in the squad that I have here that you must always train hard every day even if you are not in the side because if you get the chance, you can take it and I will remain faithful if I think you are doing a good job for the team."