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Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has been handed a series of fitness boosts.

Defender James Perch (thigh), midfielders Cheick Tiote (hamstring), Danny Guthrie (calf) and Gabriel Obertan (ankle) are all back in training, as are striker Leon Best (knee) and midfielder Sylvain Marveaux (groin), both long-term absentees.

Pardew has only Steven Taylor (Achilles) and Sammy Ameobi (knee) still on the sidelines for a potentially thrilling run-in.

Stoke winger Jermaine Pennant has been suffering with a virus and will be assessed ahead of the Potters’ trip to the north-east.

Defender Andy Wilkinson is available again having recovered from a groin injury, while midfielder Salif Diao and forward Mamady Sidibe (both knee) remain sidelined.

Newcastle (from): Krul, Elliot, Harper, Simpson, Santon, R Taylor, Ferguson, Tavernier, Perch, Coloccini, Williamson, Tiote, Cabaye, Guthrie, Obertan, Ben Arfa, Gutierrez, Abeid, Gosling, Vuckic Ba, Cisse, Shola Ameobi, Best.

Stoke (from): Begovic, Sorensen, Huth, Shawcross, Wilkinson, Upson, Shotton, Wilson, Woodgate, Whelan, Whitehead, Etherington, Pennant, Delap, Palacios, Jones, Jerome, Crouch, Walters, Fuller.

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