Team News: Hatem Ben Arfa returns to Newcastle lineup against Anzhi Makhackala

Team News: Ben Arfa returns to Newcastle lineup
© PA Photos
Hatem Ben Arfa makes his first start since December for Newcastle United's Europa League match against Anzhi Makhachkala.

Newcastle United midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa will make his first start for the Magpies since December as manager Alan Pardew makes seven changes to his team for today's Europa League encounter against Anzhi Makhachkala.

The North-East outfit have not named one recognised striker in the starting XI, despite Shola Ameobi being placed on the bench for the match in Russia.

Ben Arfa appears to be the player that will assume the role up top, while Moussa Sissoko, Sylvain Marveaux and Gabriel Obertan will sit behind.

Meanwhile, Anzhi boss Guus Hiddink has opted for former Barcelona and Inter Milan player Samuel Eto'o as a lone striker.

Anzhi starting XI: Gabulov; Eschenko, Joao Carlo, Ewerton, Zhirkov; L. Diarra, Jucilei; Ahmedov, Willian, Shatov; Eto'o
Subs: Pomazan, Tagirbekov, Logashov, Gadzhibekov, Carcela-Gonzalez, Traore, Smolov

Newcastle starting XI: Elliot; Simpson, Yanga-Mbiwa, Perch, Haidara; Anita, Cabaye; Marveaux, Sissoko, Obertan; Ben Arfa
Subs: Alnwick, Santon, S. Taylor, Bigirimana, Tiote, S. Ameobi, Campbell

Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa
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