Anzhi v Newcastle United – Match Preview
With temperatures dropping well below freezing, it won’t be for the faint hearted tonight.
Yohan Cabaye leads his team out as follows;
Elliot, Simpson, Mapou, Perch, Haidara, Anita, Cabaye, Marveaux, Sissoko, Obertan, Ben Arfa
With on the bench;
Alnwick, Santon, Taylor, Bigirimana, Tiote, Shola, Campbell
Obviously with Cisse missing through illness it has left a big hole up front and the manager has decided for a decidedly more mobile option than playing Shola up front, on a surface that the manager has already said is unsuitable for Ameobi senior.
It will be interesting to see how the team form up on the pitch but my money is on Obertan getting the main striking role, if you remember Alan Pardew put him through the middle against Metalist in the second half.
With intelligent players like Cabaye, Sissoko and Ben Arfa they should have no problem fitting any situation, while Marveaux and Anita will be expected to step up and play pivotal roles.
It is all very intriguing but you can’t help feel that we are ‘trying to get away with it’ tonight when first team certainties such as Steven Taylor, Santon and Tiote are left on the bench.
In terms of not letting the opposition have time and space on the ball, the front six should have the energy to make life difficult for the opposition but going forward we will all be looking at what impact Hatem Ben Arfa can make on his return.
In Hatem, Sissoko and Cabaye we have players who are all capable of scoring goals but maybe at the back is where we will see the two-legged tie won or lost tonight.
Having a very makeshift feel to it, we have Simpson, Mapou, Perch and Haidara thrown together, can they take the strain?
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