In the absence of Loic Remy – the Sunderland slayer Shola Ameobi starts this afternoon, and it would be a great time for Shola to start scoring some league goals for Newcastle this season.
Shola Ameobi – gets start against Sunderland
And both Ben Arfa and Sammy Ameobi keep their places in the front three as the wide men in a 4-3-3 formation, that Alan Pardew used on Tuesday night at Norwich City.
The team is the same that played so well on Tuesday night, with Shola coming in for the suspended Loic Remy in the middle of the front three.
16 year-old Adam Armstrong – the potential new Wayne Rooney – again makes the bench, so this lad must be doing well in training, and who knows he could make his first team debut before the end of the season, and he’s certainly the most promising youngster on Newcastle’s books at the moment.
Another local lad, Paul Dummett is again on the bench – and of course he started at center-back in the 2-1 defeat at the Stadium of Light earlier in the season.
And there has to be a very good chance that Luuk de Jong will make his debut in this game – we certainly hope he does.
For Sunderland, new signing Liam Bridcutt makes his debut after joining from Brighton.
Newcastle must go all out to win this game, and at the very least we have to get a point.
Another defeat – given what’s happened this week in the transfer market – would be a disaster for the club.
This could be a pivotal game for Newcastle this season.
Howay the Lads!!
Newcastle United (4-3-3): Tim Krul; Mathieu Debuchy, Mike Williamson, Steven Taylor, Davide Santon; Vurnon Anita, Moussa Sissoko, Cheick Tiote (c); Hatem Ben Arfa, Shola Ameobi, Sammy Ameobi
Substitutes: Rob Elliot, Paul Dummett, Massadio Haidara, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Sylvain Marveaux, Luuk de Jong, Adam Armstrong
Sunderland : Mannone, Bardsley, Alonso, Brown, O’Shea, Bridcutt, Colback, Ki, Johnson, Borini, Altidore
Substitutes: Larsson, Gardner, Wickham, Giaccherini, Vergini, Scocco, Ustari
Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)