Leicester City v Newcastle United: Carver plots cup run

Newcastle United visit Leicester City in the FA Cup third round with John Carver plotting a Wembley return for his hometown club.

Carver has taken charge of first-team affairs in the absence of Alan Pardew, who is set to take over at Crystal Palace.

Pardew's right-hand man during his time at St James' Park, Carver is among the bookmakers' favourites to become permanent manager of his hometown club, although his first chance to impress ended in a disappointing 3-3 draw with Burnley as Newcastle gave up three separate one-goal leads.

Attention now turns to England's most prestigious cup competition and the road to the Wembley final, which starts with Saturday's trip to the King Power Stadium.

Carver was in the dugout in Newcastle's loss to Manchester United in the 1999 final and the semi-final defeat to Chelsea a year later, and is eyeing another cup run this time around.

When asked how important the FA Cup is for Newcastle, Carver responded: "Very.

"I've been to a final and semi-final.

"The ovation we got when we didn't even win it against Chelsea was incredible. It was probably the best we played when we lost 2-1.

"It would be nice for people to go to Wembley. And nice for me because I need a new suit."

Both teams are likely to make changes for the tie, with their respective squads looking thinner at the end of the busy period of Christmas fixtures.

Newcastle's defence has been rocked by an Achilles injury to centre-back Steven Taylor that will see him miss the rest of the season.

Taylor is Newcastle's latest casualty with namesake Ryan Taylor, Sammy Ameobi (both knee) as well as goalkeeping duo Tim Krul (ankle) and Rob Elliot (thigh) dropping out of contention in recent weeks along with a string of long-term absentees.

Suspended top scorer Papiss Cisse has departed for the Africa Cup of Nations alongside midfielders Cheick Tiote and Mehdi Abeid.

Leicester's injury problems are less severe but Dean Hammond (calf) and Danny Drinkwater (groin) were forced off in Thursday's 2-2 draw with Liverpool.

Kasper Schmeichel and Matthew Upson (both foot) remain on the sidelines while midfielder Andy King is unlikely to be risked following his recovery from a thigh problem.

With Leicester sitting bottom of the Premier League table, manager Nigel Pearson's main concern is top-flight survival – though he hopes a Cup victory could add momentum to their campaign.

"I have no qualms in saying the Premier League is the most important thing but I think it would be great to get another win," Pearson said. 

"It's come quickly so inevitably there's going to be some changes – it's going to test our ability to recover and put in another very good performance."