Newcastle v Aston Villa: Ba's Back
Written by Newcastle Utd
Demba Ba returns to the starting line-up for Newcastle against Aston Villa - one of two changes from the midweek win at Blackburn
By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Demba Ba's return to the starting line-up is one of two changes for Newcastle United ahead of today's home game against Aston Villa (kick-off 1.30pm).
The Senegalese striker is restored to the side after missing the last five matches while representing his country in the African Cup of Nations.
The other change sees James Perch come in for Hatem Ben Arfa.
The ex-Nottingham Forest man was a half-time replacement for Ben Arfa at Blackburn in midweek and Pardew has opted to go with the 4-4-2 formation which served him well in the second period at Ewood Park.
Wednesday night's penalty hero Tim Krul once again starts in goal, while the defence has a familiar look about it.
New signing Papiss Cisse is on the bench.
Aston Villa (4-4-1-1): Shay Given; Alan Hutton, Richard Dunne, Carlos Cuellar, Stephen Warnock; Stephen Ireland, Ciaran Clark, Stiliyan Petrov (c), Charles N'Zogbia; Robbie Keane, Darren Bent
Substitutes: Brad Guzan, Andreas Weimann, Eric Lichaj, Gary Gardner, Barry Bannan, Nathan Baker, Emile Heskey