Modibo Maiga looks set to lead the line again with Andy Carroll remaining on the sidelines due to a heel injury. Stewart Downing got the nod ahead of Joe Cole on the right for last week’s trip to Newcastle and could retain his place, though Ravel Morrison could come into contention after finding the net in Tuesday’s cup win over Cheltenham. Joey O’Brien has pulled out of the Republic of Ireland squad for the upcoming internationals due to an apparent knee problem, though Sam Allardyce made no mention of any potential injury during his Friday morning press conference.
Mark Hughes has only one player out through injury, with midfielder Jamie Ness still struggling with a thigh problem. Kenwyne Jones is pushing for a start after bagging a hat-trick in the midweek cup win over Walsall. The Welsh manager may also decide to hand loan signing Oussama Assaidi his first start after the left winger was afforded a 45-minute run-out on Wednesday.