In advance of today’s kick-off, Alan Pardew has confirmed that both Hatem Ben Arfa and Vurnon Anita will be in Newcastle starting 11 vs Cardiff.
The Newcastle boss accepts that Anita was unlucky to be left out at the Hawthorns but is rely on the Dutch midfielder and Ben Arfa to help lift United into the fourth round.
This is what Alan Pardew said to the Shields Gazette;
“In terms of Vurnon – he has been terrific; sometimes as a manager, it gives you a chance to play players who every day train hard.
“He was very unfortunate not to play at West Brom and hopefully he can produce a performance.”
Not the biggest surprise in the world that the two of them will be playing but it will be interesting to see what roles they are each asked to perform.
With Cabaye out injured, it remains to be seen whether Alan Pardew thinks he can afford to give Cheick Tiote a rest as well, which would make Anita a knocking bet to start as the holding midfielder.
Likewise, will Pardew have Ben Arfa in his usual right wing role or use him as a second striker.
Much will of course depend on the rest of his team and who he feels are in the best condition to start.