Both Cheick Tiote and Gabriel Obertan will miss out on the game at Manchester City this afternoon, and Leon Best is doubtful.
Ben Arfa – could get first league start today
Both Cheick and Gabriel have been doubtful for the game, but Alan Pardew has decided not to risk either player, and hopefully both will now be fit for next Saturday’s game at Old Trafford.
Tiote has missedf the last three games, after after picking up a knee injury against Wigan last month, and Alan Pardew talked about the Ivory Coast International:
“I don’t think Cheick will be involved in this game, but I don’t think he is too far away,” “He may possibly be involved against Manchester United, but not in this game.”
“That’ll be a blow for us and the fans, as he’s so powerful away from home.” “Cheick hasn’t played the last two or three but we have done very, very well without him.”
“Having said that, he is a brilliant player and will be a loss to us because of the presence he has.” “Danny Guthrie has been absolutely terrific though – an underrated player in my opinion.”
“And I have no problem with him deputising again.” “Obertan and Best are the doubts, Shola is back in and around the team and has a chance of being involved.”
French winger Sylvain Marveaux is definitely ruled out through a groin injury, and it looks like he will go under the knife soon and be out until the new year.
That is a little worrying because Sylvan missed last season from last October at Rennes with a similar injury.
Mike Williamson is still out with his ankle injury, and it looks like Gabriel Obertan will also miss out as he has not fully recovered from his infected toe.
And with both Obertan and Marveaux out, it looks like Alan Pardew could be starting Hatem Ben Arfa in the game on the right wing, and it’s the game in which he broke his left leg in two places in the same fixture last season.
Gabriel Obertan told the local press yesterday:
“Hopefully I will be back for Man United. Coming back so early against Man City wasn’t planned, but we tried for it.
“I tried to play yesterday, but I don’t feel ready. It gives me four more days to be fit for Man United.”
So assuming Best will be fit, we think the team will be as follows:
Simpson Coloccini Taylor (S) Taylor (R)
Ben Arfa Cabaye Guthrie Gutierrez
Subs: Elliot Santon Perch Gosling Ameobi (Sa) Amerobi (Sh) Lovenkrands
What do you think the team will be for today’s huge game?