Gabriel Obertan

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

Gabriel Obertan and James Perch are included in a strong Reserve side for Thursday night's second-string derby at the Sports Direct Arena.

The pair, who were unused substitutes in Sunday's first-team clash against Sunderland, will feature for Willie Donachie's team for the 7pm kick-off.

Dan Gosling and Mehdi Abeid, who both played for the Reserves in Monday night's 4-0 defeat at Aston Villa, will also play against the Black Cats in order to maintain their match-fitness.

Michael Richardson continues his comeback from injury, having played 45 minutes at Villa Park in his first appearance since January.

Australian goalkeeper Alex Baird, who excelled on his Barclays Premier Reserve League debut this week, could get another opportunity to impress between the posts, with fellow Academy shot-stopper Jonathan Mitchell also called up.

A further five members of Dave Watson's table-topping under-18s side are in the squad: defenders Remie Streete, Louis Storey and Michael Riley, winger Ryan McGorrigan and forward Dan Taylor.

Sunderland are currently joint-top of the Barclays Premier Reserve League North - nine points ahead of the Magpies in fourth. Newcastle have played two games fewer, however.

Admission is £3 for adults and £1 concessions through the East Stand turnstiles. Season ticket holders and Club Members are entitled to free entry. Sunderland fans should pay on turnstiles 31-38 in the North East corner of the stadium.

The squad is: Alex Baird, Jonathan Mitchell, James Perch, Yven Moyo, Michael Riley, Remie Streete, Louis Storey, Gabriel Obertan, Mehdi Abeid, Greg McDermott, Michael Richardson, Dan Gosling, Ryan Donaldson, Ryan McGorrigan, Phil Airey, Dan Taylor