Shola Looks Certain To Start Against Mackems

Ameobi has missed the last two games with an ankle problem, but along with Jose Enrique and Jonas Gutierrez, could return at the Stadium of Light.

Andy Carroll returned from Dubai on Wednesday.

Alan Pardew: "The injury news is looking positive for us and we should have some important players back.

"Shola Ameobi should be fit now, Jonas will be fine and Jose Enrique should be available too.

"It will be a boost to have Shola back. He is going to train on Friday and that is what we are working towards at the moment - although there is a couple of days' work to be done there.

"The other positive for us is that Dan Gosling came back and he is certainly looking good.

"I couldn't really use him over Christmas without getting some minutes under his belt, but he's given me something to think about."