Mehdi Abeid

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter


Teenager Mehdi Abeid is handed only his second Newcastle United appearance, as the Magpies face Blackburn Rovers in the third round of the FA Cup this afternoon at the Sports Direct Arena (3pm kick-off).

The 19-year-old midfielder comes in for Cheick Tiote, who is away at the Africa Cup of Nations with the Ivory Coast, and will slot in alongside Yohan Cabaye in the middle of the park.

Abeid's debut came back in September away at Nottingham Forest in the Carling Cup, and manager Alan Pardew has given the promising youngster another chance to impress.

That is one of four changes to Newcastle's starting line-up from Wednesday night's stunning 3-0 win against Manchester United. The Magpies' strike force is changed, with Hatem Ben Arfa and Leon Best replacing Shola Ameobi and top scorer Demba Ba - with the latter also away at the Africa Cup of Nations.

And Gabriel Obertan returns on the right wing in place of Ryan Taylor, who drops down to the bench. And he is joined among the replacements by Dan Gosling, who is in the matchday squad for the first time since being sent off at Norwich in early December.

Blackburn boss Steve Kean makes five changes to his line-up, and leave out star players Christopher Samba and Junior Hoilett, while top scorer Yakubu is on the bench.


Newcastle United (4-4-1-1): Tim Krul; Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Davide Santon; Gabriel Obertan, Mehdi Abeid, Yohan Cabaye, Jonas Gutierrez; Hatem Ben Arfa; Leon Best

Substitutes: Rob Elliot, James Perch, Ryan Taylor, Dan Gosling, Haris Vuckic, Sammy Ameobi, Shola Ameobi


Blackburn Rovers (4-4-1-1): Mark Bunn; Adam Henley, Grant Hanley, Gael Givet (c), Martin Olsson; Simon Vukcevic, Steven Nzonzi, Radosav Petrovic, Morten Gamst Pedersen; Ruben Rochina; David Goodwillie

Substitutes: Jake Kean, Jason Lowe, Jordan Slew, Josh Morris, Mauro Formica, Nick Blackman, Yakubu