Newcastle Land in Moscow with 19 Players in Tow: Possible Formations

Stu Forster

Alan Pardew has named 19 players to his traveling squad. Which players will feature against Anzhi Makhachkala?

Newcastle United have landed in Moscow ahead of their Europa League clash with Anzhi Makhachkala on Thursday, and they have brought 19 players with them. Once again, Alan Pardew has not shied away from naming several first teamers, even with a league match looming on the weekend. Based on his comments in Ukraine, we can expect that he'll not be pulling any punches for as long as Newcastle remain active in this tournament. Let's take a look at possible lineups.

Goalkeepers

Rob Elliot, Jak Alnwick

The same configuration as the last two Premier League games: Elliot backed up by Alnwick with Steve Harper nowhere in sight.

Defenders

Steven Taylor, Massadio Haidara, James Perch, Davide Santon, Danny Simpson, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa

As expected, Fabricio Coloccini and his injured back have been left behind. Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa played for the captain at Swansea, and despite a few shaky moments he was mostly solid. I'd expect him to play alongside Saylor once again. European play means a chance to give Simpson some minutes, so the only choice left to make is on the left side. Jonas Gutierrez is missing from the squad (see below), so perhaps his partner in crime Santon will take a rest as well.

Midfielders

Yohan Cabaye, Moussa Sissoko, Cheik Tiote, Hatem Ben Arfa, Vurnon Anita, Sylvain Marveaux, Gabriel Obertan, Gael Bigirimana, Dan Gosling

Forwards

Papiss Cisse, Shola Ameobi, Adam Campbell

The shape of the formation is an interesting choice. Pardew played two strikers against Metalist Kharkiv as he pursued an early away goal, and the inclusion of 18 year-old Adam Campbell might mean he wants to pursue the same strategy while keeping a fresh striker on the bench. Then again, if Ben Arfa is slated to start, the favored 4-2-3-1 might be give him a bit more room to roam around. I seriously doubt he would be in Moscow if the plan did not call for him to play or even to play a minor role. The unavailability of Yoan Gouffran and the absence of Jonas gives The Silver Fox the chance to experiment with HBA's role in the new formation without bruising any egos.

EDIT: Cisse did not make the trip after all. So it's probably a 4-2-3-1, unless Pards wants to roll without a striker on the bench again.

I've put together a couple of one possible formations. What do you think?

Possible Lineup:

Elliot

Simpson --- STaylor --- MY-M --- Santon

Tiote --- Cabaye

Ben Arfa --- Sissoko --- Marveaux

Shola

Bench: Alnwick, Perch, Haidara, Anita, Obertan, Bigirimana, Campbell

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