Predicted Newcastle Line Up vs Cardiff
Match Preview Newcastle v Cardiff
Saturday 4 January 3pm FA Cup 3rd Round
The things we do know are that Debuchy (suspended), Cabaye and Coloccini all miss, while Krul is rated doubtful by Alan Pardew and surely in that case won’t be risked.
On the other hand, the manager has confirmed Hatem Ben Arfa and Vurnon Anita will definitely play, plus Gabriel Obertan will be ‘involved’. After heading off in the huff on Arsenal match day you would assume (hope!) that the most he can hope for is sitting on the bench and technically being ‘involved’.
Luckily, unlike in the past, the Newcastle manager has a host of players lined up as replacements for the current first eleven who, at least on paper, look more than capable of taking up the slack.
Amongst the experienced players who haven’t been getting a regular spot are Steven Taylor, Mapou, Anita, Cisse, Ben Arfa, Marveaux, Jonas & Elliot, whilst the younger element of Dummett, Bigirimana and Sammy Ameobi will also be hoping to be involved.
Cardiff’s players will almost certainly be getting a lift from the new manager and at the very least you’d take for granted that whoever is picked today for the visitors will be hoping to try and impress the freshly appointed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
It looks an ideal match for the ex-Man Utd payer to begin with, a game they are expected to lose in a competition which isn’t their priority. As I can’t even hope to get near guessing Newcastle’s team I’m not even going to attempt to second guess Cardiff’s, one thing for sure though is that thankfully Craig Bellamy continues to be injured so can’t come back to haunt our FA Cup dreams.
In United’s case you would hope that this match may prove a turning point for a number of players, especially now that suspensions and injuries are starting to bite. I have a feeling that Alan Pardew may need to rely heavily on most if not all of Ben Arfa, Anita, Steven Taylor, Cisse and Mapou in the coming weeks/months and today’s match could be a new start for any number of them.
It goes without saying that it would be ideal to see Papiss Cisse follow up the gift of the penalty against Stoke with another goal (or two…) today, while the manager is very publicly challenging Hatem Ben Arfa to show he deserves a regular game.
At the very least we surely can’t expect anything as horrific as the feeble team selection and display 364 days ago at Brighton, alarm bells really would be ringing if the players likely to be selected today can’t rise well above the dross served up that day.
With home advantage and better players than the opposition, today is in our hands.
Now it is up to the players to prove their point.
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