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Ben Arfa returns to Newcastle's Boxing Day line-up
HATEM BEN ARFA makes his first Premier League start for almost two months as Newcastle United take on Stoke City this afternoon.
Ben Arfa is recalled to the starting line-up in place of Cheik Tiote, who is suspended after being booked last weekend.
Ben Arfa is likely to start in a wide position on the right, as Alan Pardew reshuffles his side into a 4-3-3 formation.
Yoan Gouffran will fill the other wide role, with the rest of Newcastle's starting line-up unchanged from the 3-0 win at Crystal Palace.
There is a notable return on the substitutes' bench for Steven Taylor, who has not made a Premier League appearance since the opening weekend of the season.
Stoke City name former Sunderland goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen between the sticks as their first choice, Asmir Begovic, is injured.
NEWCASTLE (4-3-3): Krul; Debuchy, Coloccini, Williamson, Santon; Sissoko, Cabaye, Anita; Ben Arfa, Remy, Gouffran.
Subs: Elliot (gk), Yanga-Mbiwa, S Taylor, Haidara, Obertan, Shola Ameobi, Cisse.
STOKE (4-2-3-1): Sorensen; Cameron, Wilson, Shawcross, Pieters; Nzonzi, Whelan; Walters, Adam, Assaidi; Crouch.
Subs: Butland (gk), Muniesa, Palacios, Jones, Arnautovic, Wilkinson, Ireland.
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