By Chief Sports Writer, Marley Anderson

St James’ Park is usually known for its raucous atmosphere every weekend. 52,000 passionate fans pack out the stands to cheer on their boys in black and white regardless of the opposition, but throw some former players and a manager into the equation and you have a recipe for a cauldron of noise on Sunday afternoon.

Kevin Nolan, Sam Allardyce and Andy Carroll will return to Tyneside with their current side, West Ham United, for a three o’ clock kick-off and be prepared for the onslaught the Geordie nation will give them.

It may not be so bad for Nolan, a one-time Magpies hero who stuck by the Club in their lowest times to drag them back into the highest echelons of English football.

However for the other two, the reception will be colder than the winter breeze flowing across the St James’ pitch. Sam Allardyce was never wanted, supported or loved by the Toon Army when he endured a torrid spell as Magpies manager and it was one of the more popular moves by Mike Ashley and co. when the former Bolton manager was given his marching orders in 2008.

Quite the opposite to Allardyce, Andy Carroll was wanted, supported and loved by the adoring Geordie public when he upped sticks and sealed a big-money move to Liverpool to become the 8th most expensive player in world football. Nobly assisted by the loan of Nolan’s passenger seat, Carroll cemented his place in the black books of every Geordie by turning his back on those who once worshipped him.

Tomorrow is the first time Carroll has been back to St James’ as a West Ham player, as the last time he turned out at his former home was when another former Magpie – Jose Enrique – ended up between the sticks as Liverpool fell to an in-form Newcastle 2-0. When he sleeps tonight, Carroll will likely already be able to hear the boo boys getting into his head.

Alan Pardew of course has links to West Ham too, having managed them to safety in the Premier League in 2005. The same negative reception won’t be administered to him though from the travelling Hammers, not that it would be heard above the rampant Geordie faithful anyway.

Pardew will once again welcome his top players back to his first team for the game, as they return from being rested in the 2-2 draw with Brugge on Thursday night. Demba Ba – another who has links with West Ham, having played for them before moving to Tyneside – has recovered from injury and should start.

Absentees for Newcastle are Captain Fabricio Coloccini and Cheick Tiote, who both serve suspensions, whilst Ryan Taylor, James Perch, Dan Gosling and Haris Vuckic are all injured. Papiss Cisse remains out of form while Shola and Sammy Ameobi both seem to have found form, so Pardew will have a decision to make in attack.

The Hammers’ defensive duo James Collins and James Tomkins are both doubts and will have fitness tests on the afternoon of the game to determine their participation. Guy Demel is available for Allardyce but Jack Collison, Matthew Taylor and Ricardo Vaz Te are all out.

A win for Newcastle could set them up on a nice run, as their next few games all look very winnable on paper. A Geordie win could propel them up to 6th and get the season well into gear, while West Ham will be looking to reach similar heights as they sit one point ahead of the Magpies before kickoff commences.