NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - APRIL 09: Hatem Ben Arfa of Newcastle celebrates scoring to make it 1-0 during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Bolton Wanderers at the Sports Direct Arena on April 9, 2012 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Alan Pardew has ruled Hatem Ben Arfa out of today's match as he continues to recover from a knee injury. His absence likely means a return to the 4-4-2, with Gabriel Obertan and Sylvain Marveaux the top candidates to replace HBA.
Yohan Cabaye is apparently still recovering from his participation in the Euros, as reports have him missing out on a starting spot due to fitness concerns. Honestly, I wouldn't rule him out of the lineup, but if he can't go, we'll get an early idea about who Pardew's second choice is at the position. I maintain that sliding Jonas Gutierrez over and replacing him on the left with Marveaux is the best option, but we are just as likely to see Mehdi Abeid, Haris Vuckic, Dan Gosling, or Romain Amalfitano. Basically, if you're looking at this because you're setting your fantasy lineup, just stay away from all of these players.
More after the jump.
Fabricio Coloccini and Cheik Tiote both picked up calf injuries in the preseason loss to Cardiff a week ago, and both are expected to play today, though Colo is more of a sure thing than Tiote. If Cheik can't play, expect to see the debut of Vurnon Anita.
Both Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse have been listed as doubts due to fitness concerns related to their adherence to Ramadan, which ends tonight (Ba also has a shin issue). Shola Ameobi could start in place of either one. I expect one of the Dembas to start and the other to come off the bench.
Sammy Ameobi has reportedly recovered from his hamstring issue and is available for bench selection.
For Spurs, Luka Modric ("unsettled") and Scott Parker (Achilles') are out, but Gareth Bale and Sandro are available after being considered doubts early. Backup keeper Heurelho Gomes is out as well. For more Tottenham Hotspur news, visit Cartilage Free Captain.