Shola Ameobi

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor

At the Hawthorns


Shola Ameobi returns to the Newcastle United starting line-up for the Magpies' New Year's Day fixture at West Bromwich Albion (3pm kick-off).

The long-serving striker has been among the substitutes for United's last three Premier League games, but is reinstated from the start at the Hawthorns.

Ameobi takes the place of midfielder Vurnon Anita, who is named among the replacements and that is the only change from Sunday's narrow defeat to Arsenal.

Manager Alan Pardew is expected to start with the 4-3-3 formation that Newcastle have used to such good effect recently, with a slight reshuffle in the personnel.

At the back it is business as normal, with goalkeeper Tim Krul protected by a back four of Mathieu Debuchy, Mike Williamson, captain Fabricio Coloccini and Davide Santon.

Moussa Sissoko moves inside to the middle of the park, joining Cheick Tiote and Yohan Cabaye in the engine room, and will be given licence to get forward.

And in the final third, Yoan Gouffran and Loic Remy will be deployed on the flanks, either side of Ameobi.

Joining Anita on the substitutes' bench are Rob Elliot, Massadio Haidara, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Sammy Ameobi, Hatem Ben Arfa and Papiss Cisse.


West Bromwich Albion (4-2-3-1): Ben Foster; Billy Jones, Gareth McAuley, Jonas Olsson, Liam Ridgewell; Youssouf Mulumbu, Caludio Yacob; Morgan Amalfitano, Stephane Sessegnon, Chris Brunt (c); Nicolas Anelka

Substitutes: Boaz Myhill, Diego Lugano, James Morrison, Zoltan Gera, Matej Vydra, Saido Berahino, Shane Long


Newcastle United (4-3-3): Tim Krul; Mathieu Debuchy, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Davide Santon; Moussa Sissoko, Cheick Tiote, Yohan Cabaye; Yoan Gouffran, Shola Ameobi, Loic Remy

Substitutes: Rob Elliot, Massadio Haidara, Steven Taylor, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Vurnon Anita, Hatem Ben Arfa, Papiss Cisse


Referee: Lee Mason (Greater Manchester)