The good news emerging from the press conference for the Bordeaux game yesterday is that it’s almost certain that Yohan Cabaye will start the game for Newcastle in central midfield, after recovering from his dental problems, that kept him out of the game at Reading last Sunday afternoon.
Yohan Cabaye – will start tonight
So Yohan is fresh and will be able to play two games in the next four days, before he goes off to join the French squad for the World Cup qualifying games over the next couple of weeks.
Cabaye was at the press conference yesterday with the Newcastle manager Alan Pardew, and the Frenchman has quite a bit of experience with Lille playing in Europe:
“We played for three or four years with Lille in the Europa League and those experiences really helped us win the title and cup in my last season in France. So it is important Newcastle play at 100% in Europe so we can gain more experience for the future.”
“I think you can compare Newcastle and Lille, where there was not a big change of players every season. That is important when you want to build a big team. We need to keep working and show the same mentality out on the pitch because that will bring us success. We worked hard last season and really played well because we were trying to qualify for European football. We wanted the Champions League this season, but we are in the Europa League.”
“We will focus on this game and try to win; we try to win every match. We want to be finish top of our group so this game against Bordeaux is very important.” “Bordeaux is a good club. This is a good team and they have a very good manager in Francis Gillot, even if he did not get off to the best start.” “Technically they are good and are capable of scoring a lot of goals.”
“Ben Arfa is very good. I have not spoken to Hatem about the Euros and what is important is that he is focused and has scored some important goals for us this season and has helped us win games. I hope he continues to do that.”
The last sentence was in response to questions from the French squad, who wanted to know Ben Arfa’s state of mind after the Euros over the summer, when he fell out with then manager Laurent Blanc.
And of course he’s been left out of the French squad by new French manager Didier Deschamps, who was Ben Arfa’s coach at Marseilles, before the French International joined Newcastle in the summer of 2010, and the two of them just didn’t get on – that’s the easy way of putting it.
It’s very unlikely that Ben Arfa will play in tonight’s game, and it’s a good question as to exactly what team Newcastle will start tonight.
Here’s a possible starting side:
Simpson Williamson Perch Tavernier
Obertan Cabaye Bigirimana Ferguson
Vuckic Ameobi (Sh)
Of course Vurnon Anita is due a game and maybe he’ll take the defensive midfield spot from 18 year-old Gael Bigirimana,
We may change that side when we bring out our Match Preview in a couple of hours.
What would be your team tonight?
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