Newcastle heads into the game expecting to be without Yoan Gouffran (leg) after he sustained an injury against Tottenham. Hatem Ben Arfa (hamstring) and Danny Simpson (toe) will not feature. Dan Gosling (knee) is still out, as are long-term absentees Haris Vuckic and Ryan Taylor (both knee ligament).
Metalist is in the middle of a winter break in the Ukrainian League and has no real injury concerns to worry about.
DID YOU KNOW?
Newcastle has not lost a home game in European competition since their 2005 Intertoto Cup defeat to Deportivo La Coruna.
Metalist has now made it into the round of 32 for the fourth time, its best finish coming last season when it was knocked out in the quarterfinals by Sporting.
The Magpies last faced Ukrainian opposition back in the 2002-03 Champions League, when they beat Dynamo Kiev 2-1 thanks to goals from Gary Speed and Alan Shearer.
Shola Ameobi (pictured right) has already scored twice in the Europa League this season and can take his European tally up to 15 with a goal in this game.
Metalist coach Myron Markevich spent six months as the Ukrainian national team coach in 2010 before stepping down to focus on club duties.
The Ukrainian side possesses one of the best defensive records in the competition. It shipped three goals in the group stage. Only Bayer Leverkusen and Lazio conceded less.
Newcastle has already used 26 players in the Europa League this season.