James Perch

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter


James Perch will play at the heart of Newcastle United's defence as they travel to Brighton in the fourth round of the FA Cup this evening (5.15pm kick-off).

The defender is in for captain Fabricio Coloccini, who misses out through a slight groin injury sustained during training on Thursday, and it is Perch's first start since before Christmas.

That aside, manager Alan Pardew picks the same starting line-up which went down 5-2 at Fulham last weekend, despite completely dominating the first half and leading at the break.

It means that the Magpies could well set out in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Shola Ameobi the lone front man, and it is he who will captain them in Coloccini's absence. He would be supported by Hatem Ben Arfa, Jonas Gutierrez and Leon Best just behind, with Danny Guthrie and Yohan Cabaye anchoring United's midfield.

On the bench, young defender Tamas Kadar is included, and the attacking options lie in the shape of Gabriel Obertan and Peter Lovenkrands.

Brighton have a three-pronged attack in the shape of Craig Mackail-Smith, Ashley Barnes and Will Buckley, while former Chelsea youngster Liam Bridcutt will anchor the midfield.


Brighton (4-3-3): Peter Brezovan; Inigo Calderon, Lewis Dunk, Gordon Greer (c), Adam El-Abd; Jake Forster-Caskey, Liam Bridcutt, Matt Sparrow; Will Buckley, Craig Mackail-Smith, Ashley Barnes

Substitutes: Casper Ankergren, Grant Hall, Romain Vincelot, Torbjorn Agdestein, Ryan Harley, Alan Navarro, Will Hoskins


Newcastle United (4-2-3-1): Tim Krul; Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, James Perch, Davide Santon; Danny Guthrie, Yohan Cabaye; Hatem Ben Arfa, Jonas Gutierrez, Leon Best; Shola Ameobi (c)

Substitutes: Rob Elliot, Shane Ferguson, Tamas Kadar, Ryan Taylor, Dan Gosling, Gabriel Obertan, Peter Lovenrkands