Emre, Alan Smith and Nicky Butt are all suspended, and Habib Beye, Abdoulaye Faye, Geremi and Obafemi Martins away with their respective countries at the African Nations Cup.
For his first game in charge last time he picked his first team as Magpies manager (against Bristol City) he had only 10 names on his list, and he laughed that things might be worse tonight.
Keegan: "With the suspensions and people away, you might only get nine tomorrow.
"I have done that a couple of times - I had 12 in once, and I couldn't get away with that either.
"It shows you how confident I was."