Hatem Ben Arfa

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter

At Craven Cottage

 

Hatem Ben Arfa returns to the Newcastle United starting line-up as they travel to Fulham in the Barclays Premier League on Monday night (8pm kick-off).

The French international forward has been sidelined for the last four games following a hamstring problem, but is back to boost Alan Pardew's injury-hit squad at Craven Cottage.

Ben Arfa's inclusion is the only change from the Magpies' last top flight fixture - a comprehensive victory over Wigan seven days ago - and it is at the expense of fellow countryman Sylvain Marveaux, who drops down to the bench.

It means United will once again line-up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with goalkeeper Tim Krul behind a back four of Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, captain Fabricio Coloccini and Davide Santon.

Cheick Tiote and Vurnon Anita will anchor the visitors' midfield, with Papiss Cisse, Ben Arfa and Jonas Gutierrez forming a creative trio in front of them.

And ten-goal top scorer Demba Ba - who bagged a first-half brace against Wigan - will lead the line on his own.

On the substitutes' bench, Marveaux is joined by James Perch, who returns from a domestic one-game ban, while there are also places for Shola Ameobi, Gael Bigirimana, James Tavernier, Shane Ferguson and Steve Harper.

 

Fulham (4-4-2): Mark Schwarzer; Sascha Riether, Brede Hangeland (c), Aaron Hughes, John Arne Riise; Damien Duff, Steve Sidwell, Chris Baird, Alex Kacaniklic; Dimitar Berbatov, Hugo Rodallega

Substitutes: Neil Etheridge, Philippe Senderos, Giorgos Karagounis, Mahamadou Diarra, Kieran Richardson, Ashkan Dejagah, Mladen Petric 

 

Newcastle United: (4-2-3-1): Tim Krul; Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Davide Santon; Cheick Tiote, Vurnon Anita; Papiss Cisse, Hatem Ben Arfa, Jonas Gutierrez; Demba Ba

Substitutes: Steve Harper, James Tavernier, Shane Ferguson, James Perch, Gael Bigirimana, Sylvain Marveaux, Shola Ameobi

 

Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire)