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After annihilating fourth-placed Cardiff on Friday, the travelling Toon Army will be expecting another handsome win against an inconsistent Derby team. Nigel Clough’s men were unlucky last time out, when a last minute goal denied them all three points against play-off contenders Sheffield United. Derby are certainly a side who seem to do better against the top sides, last time they played Newcastle it ended in a 0-0 stalemate, with Miles Addison playing superbly. You get the feeling the young defender will have to turn in another sensational performance if Derby are to keep out the Geordies, who seemed to score at will on Friday.

Andy Carroll caused most of the damage against Cardiff and has today been charged with the assault of a man in a nightclub back in December. When the original allegations came out about the alleged attack Carroll started the next game from the bench, whether Hughton makes the same decision tomorrow night could be a different story with the giant striker in such good form.

Danny Simpson is the only fresh injury concern for Hughton; the right-back sustained a knock in the Cardiff game and could miss out if he doesn’t recover in time. Coloccini wasn’t fit enough to play against the Bluebirds and isn’t expected to be risked tomorrow, with Mike Williamson and Fitz Hall playing well. Alan Smith should return to the squad after not being fit for Cardiff’s visit; however he may feature from the bench, depending on fitness.

Hughton’s decision as to whether to go with two wingers or not could be an interesting one, with both Gutierrez and Wayne Routledge especially playing well on the flanks. The team looked well balanced on Friday but with two wingers, the system leaves the full-backs vulnerable to wide attacks from opponents. The Toon Army will no doubt be expecting the same wide pair that destroyed Cardiff but Hughton might just be tempted to revert back to one out-and-out winger with Guthrie playing wide right and Smith coming into the middle. The only players certainly missing for tomorrow’s game are Jose Enrique, Steven Taylor and Joey Barton; who should be back in a matter of weeks.

Dean Leacock will miss the game for Clough’s men, he has a knee injury. Also missing is veteran midfielder Lee Hendrie but former Man City winger Lee Croft could be fit after shaking off the worst of a hamstring injury, unlike Hendrie. David Martin is expected to be in the squad, providing his loan switch from Millwall has cleared in time.

Surprisingly Newcastle will go in search of their first win over Derby in almost eight years tomorrow night, however they are on the back of a club record 15-game unbeaten run and it will be hard for Derby to stop them if current form is anything to go by.