Alan Pardew has decided to give Italian international Davide Santon a well deserved rest tomorrow night, and Davide was not in the squad that jetted off to the Ukraine for the game tomorrow night against Metalist Kharkiv, with the tie delicately balanced at 0-0.
Massadio Haidara – could get a game tomorrow night
But the squad is still very strong – and at least we now know we’ll have four fresh players for the game against Southampton on Sunday afternoon who have not traveled to the Ukraine – Mathieu Debuchy, Davide Santon, Yoan Gouffran and Ben Arfa – assuming the Newcastle winger is available for selection on Sunday.
And Dan Gosling makes his first appearance in a squad since sustaining a knee injury in the U21 game against Aston Villa on 8th October – and that’s the same game Haris Vuckic sustained his ACL knee injury and is out for the season – and both injuries happened within minutes of each other.
It’s a long four months out for Dan – who only just recovered from his own serious ACL knee injury he had when he was signed by Newcastle the in the summer of 2010 as a free agent, and in two and a half years since joining the Magpies he has only 22 first team appearances.
This is the 19 man Newcastle squad that traveled today – in alphabetical order:
Shola Ameobi, Vurnon Anita, Gael Bigirimana, Yohan Cabaye, Papiss Cisse, Fabricio Coloccini, Rob Elliot, Dan Gosling, Jonas Gutierrez, Massadio Haidara, Tim Krul, Sylvain Marveaux, Gabby Obertan, James Perch, Danny Simpson, Moussa Sissoko, Steven Taylor, Cheick Tiote, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.
Santon is the only player who has started in all of Newcastle’s Premier League games this season, and that’s likely to continue on Sunday.
And it could be that new signing Massadio Haidara could get his debut for Newcastle in the game tomorrow night, although Pardew may want to pack the team with experienced players in such a crucial game.
Hatem Ben Arfa, as we expected, is not on the plane, and we suspect Alan Pardew would like to start him on Sunday, which has been deemed French Day by the club – in honor of all our great French players.
James Perch and Danny Simpson are also on the plane and can play at either full back position – but it’s likely that Yanga-Mbiwa will continue at right back – after he had such a solid game against Willian last Thursday night.
Whatever team Alan Pardew puts out tomorrow night should be a strong side – given the strength of the squad he has taken to the Ukraine.
Howay The lads!!
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org