by Anthony Marshall
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has called on his senior players to ensure the absence of Andy Carroll and Cheik Tiote is not noticeable on Sunday.
The Magpies travel to the Stadium of Light to take on local rivals Sunderland, but will have to do without leading scorer Carroll, who is still suffering from a thigh injury, and in-form midfielder Tiote, who starts a three-game ban.
However, Pardew is confident the remainder of his squad can step up to the plate and bring home a positive result.
"For Sunderland it will be good news that those two players are missing," he said.
"On our part, we've got to make sure that we don't miss them by stepping up our performance.
"And I will be looking to the senior players to make sure that when we turn up on Sunday we don't miss those (players) and don't notice because of the passion and effort on the pitch."
There could also be a call-up to the substitutes' bench for midfielder Dan Gosling, who played 70 minutes for the reserves in midweek as his makes his comeback from a long-term knee injury.
"Leon is desperate to play, Shola trained this morning (Friday) and looked good, so he's pushing to start," explained Pardew.
"Then you've got Peter, who has done a super job as well.
"Out of those three we will be looking to get two strikers on the pitch and give Sunderland something to think about."
The manager added: "In my view Dan is now in the picture.
"I don't think I will start him because he hasn't had much match practice, but he has shown already that he will threaten the squad and hopefully burst into the team at some point."