By Marley Anderson

If you were in Alan Pardew’s shoes tonight, who would be in your starting line-up for the crunch clash against Portuguese heavyweights Benfica? Who replaces the injured Steven Taylor? Does Hatem Ben Arfa get a start? Which formation should Newcastle opt for? Leave a comment below and get involved and have your say!

Here’s what I’ve come up with:


Simpson Yanga-Mbiwa Perch Santon

Anita Cabaye

Gutierrez Sissoko Marveaux


I’d choose James Perch at centre-back alongside Yanga-Mbiwa, ahead of Mike Williamson who struggles against pace and tricky opposition. If Santon is not fit enough to start, I’d switch Gutierrez to left-back and start Ben Arfa on the win, despite it being a risk of his fitness.

The rest of the team effectively picks itself, with the only decision regarding who supports Cisse up front out of Sissoko or Cabaye. I’d choose Sissoko, with Cabaye allowed to pull the strings from a deeper midfield role alongside Vurnon Anita.

Cisse is the only option up front and his goals will be Newcastle’s main chance of getting the victory they need.

What do you think? Leave a comment below and have your say!