Most of the games for Newcastle have been tough ones these last few weeks.
Ben Arfa – could get start at Bolton this afternoon
And Bolton away this afternoon will be no different, and the good news is that Newcastle should be close to their strongest side with Mike Williamson likely to finally return to the fray, to partner Coloccini in central defense.
Mike was injured way back in August at Scunthorpe, and his ankle has not healed quickly at all, and he was only declared physically fit a couple of weeks ago.
Mike is 6’4″ tall and whereas you don’t need to be tall to be a good header of the ball, the extra height always helps.
And Stoke-on-Trent born Mike has proved himself to be a solid performer for Newcastle, since arriving almost two years ago from Portsmouth.
He has been in full training for two weeks now, and has been on the bench for the last two games, so he will have become more accustomed to the match day climate, although he cannot be match fit, by any means.
Yohan Cabaye also returns after serving his one match ban, so Alan Pardew can field a strong side this afternoon.
Bolton beat Blackburn 2-1 at Ewood Park last time out, to get themselves off the bottom of the league, and will be full of confidence and trying to improve their home league record this afternoon.
That record is not very good, in fact it’s abysmal at 7 defeats and only one win in their 8 home games.
Danny Simpson has talked about the game at Bolton this afternoon:
“Bolton away – we’ve been there before and it was tough,” “They’ll take confidence from coming off bottom by beating Blackburn, their local rivals, so we know it’s going to be tough going there.”
“But we’ll have Yohan back, who was a big loss on Wednesday night in my personal opinion, even though Haris (Vuckic) did great.”
“We’ll have probably more of a full-strength team, so we’ll move on from West Brom and look to win.”
We’re not sure what the team will be, but Pardew could elect to start Ben Arfa as the withdrawn striker to up front number 19 Demba Ba.
The Frenchman looked good when he came on last Wednesday night against West Brom, and beautifully set up Ba’s second goal and the Newcastle equalizer after 81 minutes.
But of course West Brom went on to score their third goal four minutes later, and Newcastle lost their second home game of the season.
It was great to see the reception Ben Arfa got from the Newcastle fans, as they are wishing and hoping him back to his best form, after the terrible injury he sustained at Manchester City last year.
Ben Arfa could do wonders against the Bolton defense today, and may be preferred to Leon Best, who has looked a little off form recently and certainly out of the goals.
This may well be a game made to measure for the 8 times capped French International midfielder, and we certainly need some Newcastle players to stand up and be counted today, as we try to end the winless streak, which stretches to 6 games now.
Howay The Lads!!