The 26-year-old France midfielder was visiting a specialist on Wednesday for tests on the hamstring he tore in December after suffering a setback, although manager Alan Pardew is hopeful there is no lasting damage.
Striker Shola Ameobi will undergo a late fitness test on the ankle problem he suffered at the Luzhniki Stadium last Thursday, while Mathieu Debuchy and Yoan Gouffran are ineligible and keeper Tim Krul (ankle) and Fabricio Coloccini (back) are out.
- Sports & Recreation
- Shola Ameobi
- Alan Pardew