Three days after securing their place in the last 16 of the Europa League, Newcastle United face a huge test on the domestic front when Southampton make the long trip North to take on the Magpies.

The teams are separated only by goal difference in the table and neither are completely safe from the bottom three, making tomorrow’s game the clichéd “six pointer”.

Newcastle’s win over Metalist Kharkiv on Thursday night came at a price, with goalkeeper Tim Krul ruled out for up to five weeks with an ankle injury. The Dutch stopper left Ukraine wearing a protective boot and on crutches days ago, meaning Rob Elliot is set to make his Premier League debut.

The former Charlton keeper has made appearances in the Europa League this season and has impressed, particularly in the away game against Maritimo.

Cheick Tiote could return for Newcastle after missing the away trip to Kharkiv with illness, while Alan Pardew is likely to recall Fabricio Coloccini after resting him for the same game.

Massadio Haidara impressed many on Thursday night but is set to return to the bench, with Davide Santon ready to be restored to the side at left-back. On the opposite flank, Mathieu Debuchy will return after not being registered for any of the games against Kharkiv.

Yoan Gouffran has recovered from the shin injury that seen him stretchered off against Tottenham and is expected to start but fellow Frenchman Hatem Ben Arfa is another week away from fitness.

That only leaves Ryan Taylor and Haris Vuckic on the treatment table at Newcastle, allowing Alan Pardew to enjoy almost a full squad to choose from.

Moussa Sissoko and Yohan Cabaye are both expected to start their second game in four days and Pardew will hope his French stars will be spurred on by St James’ Park being location for “French Day”, where fans are encouraged to bring along French flags and adopt the Gallic culture once again.

For the visitors, record signing Gaston Ramirez and promising left-back Luke Shaw are both available after minor injuries but Jose Fonte and Guly Do Prado are missing.

Last time out, Southampton comfortably beat Premier League champions Manchester City 3-1 and have since enjoyed a 15 day rest, meaning they come into tomorrow’s game at 100%. Mauro Pochettino is still very much in the “honeymoon” period of his reign at Saints and a win tomorrow would ease their relegation worries almost completely, as they would for Newcastle should former Southampton manager Pardew’s side take the spoils.