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Alan Pardew Reveals Whether Ben Arfa Will Start Against Sunderland

8 years ago

Alan Pardew has given his pre-mackem press conference on Friday afternoon and for once he is keeping his cards pretty much close to his chest on which players he will have available.

Keeping his Sunderland counterpart guessing, Pardew was only willing to confirm where Hatem Ben Arfa fitted into his derby plans;

“Hatem won’t start on Sunday but we will look at it after half-time.”

When asked about the availability of Steven Taylor after missing the second leg of the Benfica Europa league tie, the manager said;

“We (you!) will have to wait and see, I am not going to give away any news on my team for Sunday.”

Ben Arfa was clearly nowhere near fit on Thursday night but still created panic in the Benfica backline, helping to create the first and then almost winning the tie in the final minutes.

Such is the threat of even a half-fit Hatem, he’ll give Alan Pardew great reassurance knowing he’s on the bench if needed.

As for Steven Taylor, nobody knows more how mouch these games mean, fingers crossed he’s on the pitch for his attitude and his ability.


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