Newcastle United will be hoping to avoid a third successive defeat as they travel to South Wales to face newly promoted Cardiff City.

Two successive 3-2 league defeats at the hands of Hull City and Everton has raised concerns amongst the Toon Army and the pressure is growing on the Newcastle hierarchy with rumours suggesting that there was a meeting between Mike Ashley, Joe Kinnear and Alan Pardew regarding Pardew’s future.

Newly promoted Cardiff City have enjoyed an impressive start to life in the Premier League and find themselves in mid-table.  Malky Mackay’s side lost out to a late goal against Tottenham and exited the Capital One Cup in similar fashion against West Ham. Last week’s trip to Craven Cottage contained another late goal, but this time they snatched all three points when a moment of magic from Jordan Mutch consigned Fulham to a 2-1 defeat.

Not for the first time all eyes will be cast upon Newcastle United with Kinnear reportedly waiting in the wings to take over in the Newcastle dugout. Pardew will be hoping to put an end to that speculation with three points at the Cardiff City Stadium before the international break.

Newcastle’s defensive record in the Premier League is only worsened by that of their local rivals – Sunderland, having conceded 11 goals. Monday night’s defeat against Everton highlighted problems regarding the full-back areas. Davide Santon and Mathieu Debuchy look very accomplished going forward, but it is their inability to do a sufficient job going the other way which is worrying for Newcastle. Central defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa had an absolute nightmare on Merseyside and was replaced by Mike Williamson at half time. Williamson’s Newcastle career appeared to be over during the summer, but after a solid second half performance at Goodison Park he could make a shock return to Newcastle’s starting XI.

Newcastle’s French maverick Hatem Ben Arfa was also withdrawn at half time on Monday night and could start Saturday’s clash on the bench, his replacement Yohan Cabaye got on the score-sheet and looks set to return in the centre of Newcastle’s midfield. Their squad could be boosted by the return of Jonas Gutierrez, who is set to have a late fitness test ahead of the trip to South Wales.

For the home side, striker Andreas Cornelius won’t be available after failing to recover from an ankle injury picked up during the Capital One Cup tie against Accrington Stanley in August while former Toon striker Craig Bellamy could start after dropping to the bench last week.