Knee victim Papiss Cisse is expected to start despite having to be withdrawn at half-time against Liverpool, but Rolando Aarons is a doubt and Cheick Tiote remains out thanks to a calf injury. Mike Williamson should also be out.
Long-term casualties Siem De Jong, Davide Santon and now Gabriel Obertan will obviously play no part. The Frenchman looks set to be out until at least March with a ruptured thigh.Gabriel Obertan has joined Siem De Jong and Davide Santon on the long-term injured list after limping off during the victory over Liverpool with a ruptured thigh. For Alan Irvine's side, Silvestre Varela and Jonas Olsson are both unavailable because of injury, and Craig Gardner is suspended after picking up five yellow cards already this term.