Palace v Newcastle. Match preview

Last updated : 25 August 2009 By Palace Reporter

The Eagles are still without striker Stern John, who was injured just half an hour into his debut in the opening game of the season after he landed awkwardly on his elbow.

Freddie Sears - still looking for his first Palace goal after infamously missing out at Bristol City last weekend - and Alan Lee will continue in attack.

Darren Ambrose scored twice in Tuesday's 3-1 win over Ipswich despite playing through the pain of a shoulder injury and will keep his place in midfield.

Goalkeeper Julian Speroni took a painful knock in the first half at Portman Road but completed the game and should also be fine.

Newcastle skipper Nicky Butt will return to the squad for the trip after recovering from a hand injury.

The 34-year-old underwent surgery after dislocating his thumb in pre-season and has missed the first three games of the season.

Joey Barton will miss out again with a foot problem but is expected to be fit for the Carling Cup clash with Huddersfield next Wednesday.

Caretaker boss Chris Hughton will make a late check on striker Andy Carroll, who picked up a slight groin strain in the 1-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday in midweek and is rated at only 50-50.

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