By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
Newcastle United travel to the KC Stadium on Saturday to face Hull City in the Barclays Premier League (12.45pm kick-off).
Both sides go into the fixture on the back of defeats - United suffering a narrow 2-1 home reverse against Southampton, while the Tigers went down 3-0 at West Ham a fortnight ago.
When they met earlier this season, Papiss Cisse stepped off the substitutes' bench to bag a brace and help the Magpies come from behind to secure a 2-2 draw at St. James' Park.
On Saturday, Hull fans will be holding a minutes' applause in the 18th minute in memory of supporter Conor Ledger who died on Boxing Day, aged 18, following a lifelong battle with cystic fibrosis.
Follow Saturday's fixture right here on nufc.co.uk for on-the-whistle half-time and full-time reports and exclusive post-match reaction, or live updates on Twitter at @NUFC.
Saturday's game is the 22nd match between the two clubs, and the 14th in the league. Newcastle's victory at the KC Stadium in March 2014 was their only triumph over the Tigers in the last seven league and cup meetings, dating back to the 2008/09 season.
Newcastle's allocation of 2,500 tickets for this fixture has sold out.
20th September, 2014 - Newcastle United 2 (Cisse 74, 87) Hull City 2 (Jelavic 49, Diame 68)
Newcastle United (4-2-3-1): Tim Krul; Daryl Janmaat, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini, Paul Dummett; Cheick Tiote (Sammy Ameobi 85), Jack Colback; Moussa Sissoko, Remy Cabella, Yoan Gouffran; Emmanuel Riviere (Papiss Cisse 69)
Hull City (4-1-2-1-2): Allan McGregor; Ahmed Elmohamady, Curtis Davies, Michael Dawson, Andrew Robertson (Liam Rosenior 88); Tom Huddlestone; Jake Livermore, Mohamed Diame; Stephen Quinn; Abel Hernandez (Sone Aluko 56), Nikica Jelavic (David Meyler 81)
FULL RECORD v HULL CITY
P21 W11 D5 L5 F46 A25
(Last six games - all competitions)
Hull City - LLLWLW
Newcastle United - LLLDWL
Hull City (v West Ham, Premier League): Allan McGregor; Michael Dawson, Curtis Davies (Yannick Sagbo 72), Alex Bruce (Harry Maguire 46); Ahmed Elmohamady, Jake Livermore, Tom Huddlestone, David Meyler, James Chester (Maynor Figueroa 49); Stephen Quinn; Sone Aluko
Not used: Steve Harper, Paul McShane, Tom Ince, Gaston Ramirez
Newcastle United (v Southampton, Premier League): Tim Krul; Daryl Janmaat, Fabricio Coloccini, Paul Dummett (Mike Williamson 80), Massadio Haidara; Moussa Sissoko, Vurnon Anita (Emmanuel Riviere 68), Jack Colback; Remy Cabella, Ayoze Perez, Yoan Gouffran (Sammy Ameobi 68)
Not used: Freddie Woodman, Davide Santon, Mehdi Abeid, Adam Armstrong
Hull City - Nikica Jelavic (6)
Newcastle United - Papiss Cisse (9)
Hull City - The Tigers could welcome back strike pairing Abel Hernandez and Nikica Jelavic after respective groin and knee injuries. The duo were expected to be sidelined for six weeks but are three weeks ahead of schedule. Boss Steve Bruce is hopeful that defenders Alex Bruce (thigh) and Andrew Robertson (ankle) could be fit, however Robert Snodgrass (knee), Mohamed Diame (knee), Liam Rosenior (hamstring) and James Chester (shoulder) are all ruled out.
Newcastle United - Winger Gabriel Obertan returns to the matchday squad after nearly three months out with a thigh injury, while leading scorer Papiss Cisse could also play if he returns from Africa Cup of Nations duty in time. Siem de Jong and Ryan Taylor are both back in training after respective thigh and knee injuries but are unlikely to be risked. Steven Taylor (Achilles), Paul Dummett (hamstring) and Rolando Aarons (hamstring) are definitely out.
A WORD FROM BOTH CAMPS
Steve Bruce, Hull City manager: "There will not be anyone prouder than John Carver to have the top job at Newcastle United. It is a wonderful achievement for him and he is determined enough to make a real fist of it. After Saturday I wish him all the best, because I'm sure he will do a good job. It's important we have a good home record and, going into the second half of the season, all the games are big ones. It's a vitally important time and if you can win your home games it usually stands you in good stead."
John Carver, Newcastle United head coach: "I've seen enough in the last three league games to suggest we can go on a run. We've got a group of three games now which are very, very important. The most important thing is getting that first one and it has to come soon. I want the same performance (as last season at Hull) because it was definitely one of our best performances away from home. That was really encouraging, so a similar performance and a similar result would put a smile back on my face again."
Phil Dowd (Staffordshire): 2014/15 record - 20 games, 83 yellow cards, 4 red cards
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DID YOU KNOW?
Hull have only won 20 per cent of their home games so far his season, scoring just ten goals in ten fixtures at the KC Stadium.