Pardew will likely start Ben Arfa tonight at the City Ground and Rob Elliot will also make his debut in goal.
Shane Ferguson – should start tonight
It may be the strength of the Newcastle squad these days, that other very decent players want to see some action tonight too, like Peter Lovenkrands, Danny Guthrie, Alan Smith, Shane Ferguson, Dan Gosling, Sylvain Marveaux and others.
This is what Alan Pardew said today about the team tonight:
“We’ve got a lot of players who haven’t featured and are desperate to show their wares, so to speak,”
“I look forward to seeing one or two of them on the pitch. I said before that Ben Arfa will play, and if he comes through training this morning then he will definitely feature.”
“I don’t want to say too many more, but we will still have a very strong side.”
And it’s a bit of a surprise that Rob Elliot will start in goal, but it seems that Pardew has talked with Steve Harper, and he wants to give the 25 year-old goalkeeper his debut tonight.
This is what Alan said about the goalkeeper situation for tonight’s game:
“Rob Elliot will play. I’ve spoken to Harps because he wanted to play,” “I said to him on this occasion the guy’s come in and it’s important to get a game under your belt.”
“When you come in behind two great keepers like we’ve got he’s got a danger of sitting on the sidelines and people then start asking him when he’s going to get his debut and I don’t like that.”
“I want him to get a game under his belt and wear the Newcastle jersey. He’s a good goalkeeper and he’ll play. He deserves recognition in his own right.”
It seems to us that Steve Harper is quickly becoming the number 3 goalkeeper at Newcastle, after being the number one since Shay Given left for Manchester City back in January of 2009.
Dan Gosling, Sylvain Marveaux and Shane Ferguson are almost bound to get a game tonight so here goes – this could be the team for tonight:
Simpson Taylor(S) (c) Perch Ferguson
Gosling Cabaye Tiote Marveaux
That’s not a bad team at all, and since Alan Pardew has been talking about how good James Perch is in central defense, this may be a good time to give him a run-out in that position, and rest captain Coloccini for Saturday’s home game against Blackburn Rovers.
But Alan may also want to give one of the central midfield positions to Danny Guthrie, and he could replace Yohan Cabaye in that line-up.
There are six changes in that side from the side that started at Aston Villa on Saturday, and still no place for either Sammy Ameobi, Alan Smith, Peter Lovenkrands or Mehdi Abeid, but they could get run-outs from the substitute’s bench in the second half.
What’s your team for tonight?