Spurs have been discarded with pretty much our strongest available side & with Chelsea away to come (disgracefully just 48 hours after we finish out match in Greece), what team is Pardew going to a) take & b) play?
Well one thing for sure is their will be no magic from Ben Arfa as he will be serving the first of his three match ban in Europe he picked up for Marseille in 2010. That's a shame, but I doubt he would have started anyway due to the Spurs game being his first since the Euros. Have a good rest Benny, much deserved. Shola picked up an injury in the warm up before a ball was even kicked on Saturday so he will probably be out, nice one Shola. What hasn't been resolved officially yet to my knowledge is the going's on with Sylvain Marveaux. No one could find the lad to inform him he wasn't dropped after all but on the bench after Shola's mishap. All being well he will probably be in the starting line-up as I am sure that is why Pardew didn't select him, to save him for Thursday. The same goes for another Frenchman Amalfitano. He wasn't selected for the initial squad on Saturday but was drafted in after Marveuax's disappearing act. He will probably start. Seeing as Benny is suspended Mr Obertan will get his chance to impress. He better take it. Sammy Ameobi seems to be struggling also, however Vuckic should be fit so he will probably get the nod up front. Whether Pard's will start one of our star Senegalese hit-men to play with him is doubtful I reckon. Anita, Willo & possibly Raylor should be in for a start also.
Taking it all into account with the game just gone, the quality of the opposition & and the almost immediate Chelsea game I am going to plump for this as our starting line-up:
Krul; Simpson; Willo; Perch; Raylor; Amalfitano; Anita; Gosling; Marveaux; Obertan; Vuckic.
Something of a 4-4-1-1/4-5-1 type set up. We have seen it in pre-season with Obertan playing off the striker. He may play Raylor in midfield and stick James Tavienier at the back but I reckon we can look forward to something like the above to at least start the game. Which senior players he will take to come off the bench if a disaster is occurring before our eyes is a mystery. Ba and Cisse may be there as well as Cabaye and Cheik. With Saylor on stand by also. Who knows. What is for sure is the team that starts will be a lot different to the one that started against Spurs and the one to start against Chelsea just 2 days later.
Toon are back in Europe!...let's just get through and make it last please.