Newcastle v Man Utd preview

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew will make a late check on Gabriel

Obertan ahead of the game. The former United midfielder has an

infected toe, but is expected to be fit to feature. Pardew

otherwise has no fresh injury problems, with Danny Guthrie (groin)

and Peter Lovenkrands (calf) close to returns. Steven Taylor

(Achilles) and Sylvain Marveaux remain on the long-term casualty

list. Wayne Rooney is expected to return to the Manchester United

team after reportedly being disciplined by Sir Alex Ferguson last

week. It is believed Rooney and midfielder Darron Gibson both

missed the New Year’s Eve defeat to Blackburn after angering their

manager by their performance in training after a Boxing Day night

out. Chris Smalling (tonsillitis) and Rio Ferdinand (back) may

return on Tyneside to bolster United’s injury-ravaged squad as they

look to keep pace with leaders Manchester City, who play Liverpool

on Tuesday night. Newcastle (from): Krul, Elliot, Harper, Simpson,

R Taylor, Santon, Ferguson, Perch, Coloccini, Williamson, Kadar,

Tiote, Cabaye, Obertan, Ben Arfa, Gutierrez, Sammy Ameobi, Gosling,

Abeid, Vuckic, Ba, Best, Shola Ameobi. Manchester United (from): De

Gea, Lindegaard, Amos, Rafael, Ferdinand, Smalling, Evra, Jones,

Fryers, Cole, Carrick, Valencia, Park, Gibson, Anderson, Nani,

Giggs, Rooney, Welbeck, Berbatov, Hernandez, Diouf, Keane.