Newcastle v Arsenal: Tiote Returns
Written by Newcastle Utd
Cheick Tiote returns to the Newcastle starting line-up for Sunday's Premier League fixture against Arsenal
By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
Cheick Tiote returns to the Newcastle United starting line-up for Sunday's Barclays Premier League home fixture against Arsenal (1.30pm kick-off).
The Ivorian enforcer sat out the Magpies' Boxing Day victory over Stoke as he served a one-game suspension but, available again, Tiote is back involved for the visit of the high-flying Gunners.
Tiote's inclusion comes at the expense of French forward Hatem Ben Arfa, and is United's only change from that triumph against the Potters.
Manager Alan Pardew keeps faith with the 4-3-3 formation which has served his side so well in recent weeks, with goalkeeper Tim Krul protected by a an unchanged back four of Mathieu Debuchy, Mike Williamson, captain Fabricio Coloccini and Davide Santon.
Tiote joins Vurnon Anita and Yohan Cabaye in the middle of the park, while in the final third, Moussa Sissoko and Yoan Gouffran will be deployed on the flanks, either side of ten-goal top scorer Loic Remy.
Joining Ben Arfa on the substitutes' bench is goalkeeper Rob Elliot, defenders Massadio Haidara and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, winger Gabriel Obertan, and strikers Shola Ameobi and Papiss Cisse - the latter having notched his first Premier League goal of the season on Boxing Day.
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Wojciech Szczesny; Bacary Sagna, Per Mertesacker (c), Laurent Koscielny, Kieran Gibbs; Mathieu Flamini, Tomas Rosicky; Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla; Olivier Giroud
Substitutes: Lukasz Fabianski, Carl Jenkinson, Mikel Arteta, Ryo Miyaichi, Serge Gnabry, Lukas Podolski, Nicklas Bendtner
Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire)