Newcastle v Reading. Match preview

Last updated : 17 August 2009 By Angus Muller

Rodgers made nine changes for the Carling Cup clash with Burton in midweek after a flurry of international call-ups and saw his youngsters record a hugely impressive 5-1 win over the League Two side.

However Rodgers is still set to recall Adam Federici, Ryan Bertrand, Jem Karacan, Hal Robson-Kanu and Simon Church for the trip to St James' Park after they all returned unscathed.

Noel Hunt is pushing for his first start of the season as he continued his comeback from a foot injury with a substitute appearance on Tuesday night but brother Stephen has left the club to join Hull.

Andre Bikey sits out the fourth game of his five-match ban so new signing Matt Mills may make his league debut alongside captain Alex Pearce. Ivar Ingimarsson (knee) remains Rodgers' only long-term problem.

Newcastle will again be without midfielders Nicky Butt and Danny Guthrie for the home clash.

Butt (hand) and Guthrie (hamstring) missed the opening-day draw at West Brom although they are back in training and should return for the visit of Sheffield Wednesday on Wednesday.

Goalkeeper Steve Harper will take his place in the line-up. The 34-year-old was forced off at half-time and taken to hospital for tests on a head injury after clashing with team-mate Shola Ameobi in the build-up to West Brom's opening goal.

Dutchman Tim Krul replaced Harper for the second half and produced several superb saves as the Magpies secured a 1-1 draw thanks to Damien Duff's equaliser.

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