No Ki for Newcastle at Liverpool
Newcastle will be without Ki Sung-yueng for the Boxing Day trip to Liverpool as the midfielder is on international duty.
Ki has been included in the South Korea squad for the 2019 Asian Cup, which runs from January 5 to February 1 in the UAE.
Fellow midfielder Jonjo Shelvey is rated as a doubt with a thigh injury and Ciaran Clark is also questionable due to an ankle injury that saw him miss the draw with Fulham last time out.
Manager Rafael Benitez has no concerns regarding his team's work ethic but admits they cannot always compete with the top sides ahead of the clash with the league leaders.
"I know what is coming now and I know where we are. You can see the team - the team is trying a lot of things, but still it's not enough sometimes to get the points, and it will be like that," he said.
"I'm trying to tell everyone, realise where we are, realise what we have to do and if we do well, fine, we can finish 10th or whatever.
"But if we think we have to beat these teams which have spent £100m, every one of them, during the summer, if we think we can beat them easily every game, no chance. We are wrong, 100%."
Gareth Freeman is an experienced journalist who can offer in-depth knowledge on a host of sports, especially football, tennis, snooker and basketball.