By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
Shola Ameobi is handed a starting role in the Tyne-Wear derby, as Newcastle United entertain Sunderland at St. James' Park (12.45pm kick-off).
It has been a month since the long-serving front man last started a Magpies' match - on New Year's Day at West Brom - but he is recalled for arguably the biggest game of the season.
Shola will be looking to build on his seven goals in Tyne-Wear derby fixtures and is United's only change from their midweek goalless draw at Norwich, replacing Loic Remy who begins a three-game ban,
It means his younger brother, Sammy Ameobi, is given another opportunity to impress after catching the eye at Carrow Road.
Newcastle will line up in a 4-3-3 formation with goalkeeper Tim Krul protected by a back four of Mathieu Debuchy, Mike Williamson, Steven Taylor and Davide Santon.
Vurnon Anita, Moussa Sissoko and stand-in captain Cheick Tiote will patrol the middle of the park, with a trio of Hatem Ben Arfa, Shola Ameobi and Sammy Ameobi just ahead of them.
On the substitutes' bench there is a place for new signing Luuk de Jong, who arrived on Wednesday on loan from Borussia Monchengladbach.
And the Dutch international striker is joined by Rob Elliot, Massadio Haidara, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Sylvain Marveaux and 16-year-old forward Adam Armstrong.
Newcastle United (4-3-3): Tim Krul; Mathieu Debuchy, Mike Williamson, Steven Taylor, Davide Santon; Vurnon Anita, Moussa Sissoko, Cheick Tiote (c);Hatem Ben Arfa, Shola Ameobi, Sammy Ameobi
Substitutes: Rob Elliot, Paul Dummett, Massadio Haidara, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Sylvain Marveaux, Luuk de Jong, Adam Armstrong
Sunderland (4-3-3): Vito Mannone; Phil Bardsley, John O'Shea (c), Wes Brown, Marcos Alonso; Liam Bridcutt, Jack Colback, Ki Sung-Yueng; Fabio Borini, Jozy Altidore, Adam Johnson
Substitutes: Oscar Ustari, Santiago Vergini, Seb Larsson, Craig Gardner, Emanuele Giaccherini, Connor Wickham, Ignacio Scocco
Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)