Shane Ferguson

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter

At the Sports Direct Arena

 

Shane Ferguson is handed only his fourth Premier League start as Newcastle United entertain Manchester United at the Sports Direct Arena (4pm kick-off).

The 21-year-old left-back has been in impressive form for the Magpies in recent weeks, with three assists in as many games, and that has been enough for manager Alan Pardew to select the Northern Ireland international from the off this afternoon.

Ferguson's three previous top flight starts all came in the 2010/11 campaign - at home against Wolves and West Brom, and away at Chelsea.

The youngster starred in Newcastle's midweek victory over Bordeaux in the Europa League and is one of six players to retain their place in the line-up - the others being Mike Williamson, James Perch, Cheick Tiote, Yohan Cabaye and Papiss Cisse.

Newcastle are expected to start in a 4-4-2 formation, with goalkeeper Steve Harper protected by a back four of Ferguson, Perch, Williamson and Davide Santon - who switches to the right-hand side from his normal left-back berth.

Hatem Ben Arfa and Jonas Gutierrez - captain again in the absence of Fabricio Coloccini - will provide creativity on either flank, with Tiote and Cabaye the engine room in the middle of the park.

And, as has become normal, it is an all-Senegalese strike force with Demba Ba and Cisse forming the partnership up top.

On the substitutes' bench, there are places for ex-Manchester United pair Danny Simpson and Gabriel Obertan, while brothers Shola and Sammy Ameobi offer alternative attacking options.

 

Newcastle United (4-4-2): Steve Harper; David Santon, Mike Williamson, James Perch, Shane Ferguson; Hatem Ben Arfa, Cheick Tiote, Yohan Cabaye, Jonas Gutierrez; Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse

Substitutes: Jak Alnwick, Danny Simpson, Vurnon Anita, Gael Bigirimana, Gabriel Obertan, Sammy Ameobi, Shola Ameobi

 

Manchester United: (4-2-3-1): David De Gea; Rafael, Rio Ferdinand, Jonny Evans, Patrice Evra (c); Tom Cleverley, Michael Carrick; Danny Welbeck, Wayne Rooney, Shinji Kagawa; Robin Van Persie

Substitutes: Anders Lindegaard, Scott Wootton Paul Scholes, Anderson, Ryan Giggs, Antonio Valencia, Javier Hernandez

 

Referee: Howard Webb (Yorkshire)