Duff To Make Surprise Start Against Hammers?

Last updated : 18 September 2008 By Footy Mad - Editor
The Republic of Ireland international, who has been ruled out with a knee injury since August 23, scored his first goal for the Magpies in a 2-0 win at Upton Park two years ago.

But Duff along with Nigeria international striker Obafemi Martins, are both set to be named in caretaker manager Chris Hughton's squad this weekend.

Midfielder Danny Guthrie will also be unavailable at the Boleyn Ground as he starts a three-match ban for the red card he received for breaking the leg of Hull City's Craig Fagan in the Toon's shock 2-1 defeat last Saturday.

Spanish left-back Jose Enrique (hamstring), Argentina winger Jonas Gutierrez (shoulder), right-back Habib Beye (Achilles) and England Under-19 striker Anthony Carroll (ankle) are also out of action.

Hughton: "Duffers is making good progress and we will be disappointed if we don't have him with us at West Ham," revealed Hughton, who took the managerial reigns at St James' Park following the resignation of Kevin Keegan a fortnight ago.

"The closest at the moment would probably be Martins (who has been out with a groin injury) and we're hopeful of having him and Damien back.

"They would be the closest, and we are not expecting Alan Smith or Mark Viduka back."

Smith has a leg injury, while Viduka has an Achilles problem.