Date: 23rd December 2005 at 2:17pm
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Liverpool are still hoping Dietmar Hamann will be fit for their Boxing Day clash with his former club Newcastle. The German midfielder suffered further complications from the knee injury sustained in that infamous tackle by Michael Essien while Liverpool were in Japan for last weekend’s World Club Championship.

Hamann will undergo intensive treatment in the hope that he can play against Newcastle, a priority with Mohamed Sissoko suspended for the match.

Newcastle signed the German from Bayern Munich back in 1998. He made 30 starts for the club, scoring five goals, before joining Liverpool a year later.

Michael Owen, who has scored seven times in eight starts for the Mags, is among a squad of 21 which has been boosted by the return of five men from injury, although Scott Parker will be missing through suspension.

Stephen Carr (hernia), Celestine Babayaro (groin), Steven Taylor (shoulder), Emre (hamstring) and Charles N’Zogbia (broken hand) are all back in contention, although Kieron Dyer and Craig Moore (both hamstring) remain on the sidelines.

Newcastle (from): Given, Harper, Carr, Ramage, Babayaro, Elliott, Boumsong, Bramble, Taylor, Faye, Emre, Solano, Luque, Ameobi, Bowyer, N’Zogbia, Clark, Brittain, Shearer, Owen, Chopra.