After an uplifting victory over Aston Villa last time out, Newcastle will attempt to make it three straight wins when they take on Hull City at St James’ Park today.

Steve Bruce’s side have had a mixed start to life in the Premier League, losing at Chelsea before claiming their first win against Norwich a week later. The last time the Tigers played Newcastle in the top flight, Marlon King scored twice in a 2-1 win. The Magpies’ goal came from Xisco, while YouTube sensation Nacho Gonzales came off the bench. How times change.

It’s been a good week to be a Newcastle fan, as they start to dream about their sides’ possibilities for the rest of the season. Hatem Ben Arfa has been hopeful too, claiming he has ambitions of claiming the Ballon D’Or in his career.
The Frenchman can start his quest for world glory by continuing his good form today, having scored the winning goals against Fulham and Villa in the last two games.

Perhaps it’s time for some assistance from his team-mates, as they remain goal shy as the season enters its fifth game. Papiss Cisse has rarely threatened, but Loic Remy has looked dangerous from his left-wing slot.

Jonas Gutierrez will miss the game through injury, while Steven Taylor picked up a hamstring injury in training this week and will be out for at least a fortnight. Vurnon Anita will be hoping to keep Cheick Tiote out of the team in midfield and continue to partner Yohan Cabaye. Shola Ameobi won’t be involved after getting injured on international duty for Nigeria.

The visitors have been dealt a blow this week by the loss of their influential midfielder Robert Koren, who is out for up to six weeks, while Robbie Brady – another key man – is doubtful. Maynor Figueroa is definitely out but Yanick Sagbo returns after suspension.

Former Toon hero Steve Harper is set to return to St James’ Park for the first time as an opposition player, but any involvement will likely only see Harper in a familiar place, the bench.

A win for Newcastle would further strengthen their top half position and give fans more to dream about, while defeat for Hull could see them slip towards the bottom of the table, where Sunderland lie rooted to the foot of the pile.