Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has revealed that midfielder Cheik Tiote is likely to feature on Wednesday against Manchester United in the Capital One Cup.
Tiote, a vital player for the Magpies since joining from FC Twente in 2010, has missed the last four weeks with a calf injury.
The 26-year-old made his return during Sunday's 1-0 Premier League win against Norwich City, coming on as a late substitute, with Pardew keen to give him more minutes in a bid to improve the Ivory Coast international's fitness.
With captain Fabricio Coloccini also likely to make an appearance, Pardew confirmed his intention to send a strong side to Old Trafford ahead of the third-round tie.
"I'm confident we are going to send a strong side there," Pardew said. "He's [Tiote] raring to go as he showed on Sunday. He's a fantastic player and one of our most important players and we need to get him back in the team as quick as we can. I think he will feature Wednesday. We are going to have make sure we can get game time out of the players that will need it."
However, the Magpies will be without goalkeeper Tim Krul, who is still recovering from an elbow injury, and former Manchester United full-back Danny Simpson, who has a hamstring problem.