Alan Pardew has produced a couple of surprises in that he has given a start to Massadio Haidara at left back, and a good move is that Ben Arfa is also in the starting line-up at Southampton today.
Ben Arfa – starts today at St. Mary’s
And as half expected Luuk de Jong is relegated to the bench, and so is Paul Dummett after a mediocre performance against Everton in mid-week.
It’s not clear where Ben Arfa will play – maybe as a withdrawn striker or he could be on the wing, and of course he could easily interchange with Yoan Gouffran, who can also play in both positions.
It’s a surprise that Massadio Haidara has been brought in, but the young Frenchman must have been playing well in training, and certainly he deserves his chance, and he’s a very good young player.
And for Southampton striker Jay Rodriguez is fit and starts for the Saints this afternoon.
This is a tough game for the Magpies, and we just hope somebody can get the goals, and we’ll have to start this game very quickly, as Southampton are often out of the blocks very quickly at home.
And only 17% think we can win this game and 65% think we’ll lose – so the lads can shock us on the positive side this afternoon.
And with the Saints being only one point behind Newcastle, we have to hope we can at the very least come away with a draw this afternoon at St. Mary’s.
Howay The Lads!!
Southampton: (4-2-3-1): Artur Boruc; Calum Chambers, Dejan Lovren, Jose Fonte, Luke Shaw; James Ward-Prowse, Jack Cork; Steven Davis, Adam Lallana, Jay Rodriguez; Rickie Lambert
Substitutes: Paulo Gazzaniga, Jos Hooiveld, Harrison Reed, Morgan Schneiderlin, Gaston Ramires, Guly do Prado, Sam Gallagher
Newcastle (4-2-3-1): Rob Elliot; Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Massadio Haidara; Cheick Tiote, Vurnon Anita; Moussa Sissoko, Hatem Ben Arfa, Yoan Gouffran; Papiss Cisse
Substitutes: Jak Alnwick, Paul Dummett, Davide Santon, Steven Taylor, Dan Gosling, Luuk de Jong, Shola Ameobi
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