As expected Newcastle revert to a 4-4-2 formation for the game against Southampton this afternoon, and Vurnon Anita starts in place of the suspended Yohan Cabaye and Shola Ameobi is up front alongside Loic Remy.
So Shola Ameobi coming in for Yohan Cabaye is the one change manager Alan Pardew has made from the team that won 1-0 at Old Trafford last weekend.
The subs bench is also strong – Rob Elliot, Massadio Haidara, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Gabriel Obertan, Sammy Ameobi, Hatem Ben Arfa and Papiss Cisse – and we could see three of them get an outing this afternoon.
Newcastle will attack Southampton this afternoon, and vice versa – so it seems that a great game is in store for a sold out St. James’ Park.
Southampton will also play in a 4-4-2 formation, and England striker Rickie Lambert starts up front, but there’s a surprise in that midfielder Adam Lallana is on the bench, as is Morgan Schneiderlin, who has been recovering from injury.
Southampton are currently 3 points behind Newcastle, and a Magpies victory will put 6 points between the two teams tonight, but the Saints have been playing some great football this season, and this will be a difficult and close game.
Howay The Lads!!
Newcastle United (4-4-2): Tim Krul; Mathieu Debuchy, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Davide Santon; Moussa Sissoko, Cheick Tiote, Vurnon Anita, Yoan Gouffran; Shola Ameobi, Loic Remy
Substitutes: Rob Elliot, Massadio Haidara, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Gabriel Obertan, Sammy Ameobi, Hatem Ben Arfa, Papiss Cisse
Southampton (4-4-2): Paulo Gazzaniga, Calum Chambers, Dejan Lovren, Jos Hooiveld, Luke Shaw; James Ward-Prowse, Jack Cork, Steven Davis, Jay Rodriguez; Rickie Lambert (c), Dani Osvaldo.
Substitutes: Cody Cropper, Maya Yoshida, Jose Fonte, Morgan Schneiderlin, Gaston Ramirez, Adam Lallana, Sam Gallagher
Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire)