League Cup Preview: Newcastle United v Leeds United
By Football News
Newcastle and Leeds will both hope to put disappointing home defeats behind them when they meet in the League Cup on Wednesday.
Newcastle saw an unbeaten run of four games in all competitions come to a shuddering halt on Saturday, as Hull City came from behind at St James' Park on two occasions to collect a 3-2 victory.
One positive from the game for the hosts was a Loic Remy double – his first goals for the club – but the nature of Newcastle's defending will be of concern to Alan Pardew.
And the Englishman has called on his players to raise their game for the third-round clash in order to erase the memory of a disappointing defeat.
"There’s a reaction required from us – full stop," he said. "Hopefully, in the next few games we can right what has been a wrong against Hull."
Newcastle's chances are somewhat dented by the fact that midfielder Yohan Cabaye limped off midway through the second half of the meeting with Hull after picking up a groin injury.
As well as Cabaye, the Tyneside club have injury concerns over Shola Ameobi (knock) and Steven Taylor (hamstring), but both Jonas Gutierrez and Massadio Haidara should be in contention for the clash.
Having gone six games unbeaten in all competitions at the start of the season, Leeds have begun to struggle of late, and Brian McDermott has seen his side fall to two defeats in the last week.
Leeds' loss to Burnley on Saturday was their second at home this season, and saw them drop into the bottom half of the Championship table.
But McDermott hopes to have Sam Byram available for the trip to St James' Park, despite the youngster struggling on his return from injury against Burnley.
"It was a difficult game for Sam on Saturday," he said. "We were asking such an awful lot of him and he hasn’t played for a long time.
"He was struggling at half time and he got to 60 minutes and we took him off. We’ll have to wait and see how he is Monday/Tuesday."
Byram's fitness is McDermott's only concern as he has an otherwise fully fit squad to choose from.