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Pardew likely to retain faith in Ben Arfa for Black Cats showdown
NEWCASTLE UNITED manager Alan Pardew is likely to keep faith in Hatem Ben Arfa in Sunday’s Wear-Tyne derby as he looks to go on the attack at the Stadium of Light.
The Magpies travel to Wearside on Sunday lunchtime for the 137th league meeting between the sides with Sunderland desperate to record their first Premier League win of the season.
The Black Cats sit seven points from safety after only eight games of the campaign and are looking to get their first win under new manager Gus Poyet. However, Pardew has other ideas and is keen to extend the good form that has seen Newcastle earn four points from their last two games against Cardiff City and Liverpool.
And he isn’t planning on holding back when it comes to his team selection. The Magpies boss is keen to take the game to their fierce rivals and despite a disappointing performance against Liverpool, it is understood he will keep faith with Ben Arfa.
The French international was resigned to a place on the bench for the 2-1 win at Cardiff before being reinstated last weekend in a more advanced, central role against Brendan Rodgers’ side, but it was one of his more frustrating displays in which he made little impact.
Whether that was down to the different role Ben Arfa was asked to play remains to be seen, but with Papiss Cisse having failed to score in his last 13 league appearances, Pardew can’t afford to take any risks when it comes to a derby.
The French midfielder has been in and out the side over the past few weeks, but Pardew knows how important he can be - the 26-year-old has already proved he can be the Tynesiders’ match-winner with his goals against Aston Villa and Fulham already this season.
Loic Remy could return to spearhead Newcastle’s attack having been deployed in a wider role last week, while Yoan Gouffran has done more than enough recently to keep his place in the team.
Pardew goes into Sunday’s game knowing a win would go some way to atoning for the 3-0 defeat at the hands of Sunderland, led by Paolo Di Canio, at St James’ Park in April.
Pardew has other decisions to make ahead of the trip to the Stadium of Light and must decide whether to reward Paul Dummett with a starting birth or bring in the more experienced Steven Taylor at the heart of the Magpies’ defence.
Meanwhile, young striker Adam Campbell could be heading out on loan with Scottish Premier League outfit St Mirren keen to land the 18-year-old.
Pardew has been keen to send Campbell out on loan in order to get more first-team experience, but until now he has failed to find a suitable club.
A short stint at Carlisle didn’t work out for the young striker, but St Mirren have already taken Dummett and Connor Newton on loan, where they both prospered.
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