Ben Arfa to sit out Anzhi clash
By Football News
Alan Pardew says Hatem Ben Arfa will miss Newcastle United's Europa League match against Anzhi Makhachkala through injury on Thursday.
Ben Arfa made his return from four months out with a hamstring injury in first leg of the Europa League round-of-16 tie in Moscow but was left out for Newcastle's Premier League victory over Stoke City on Sunday.
Despite being without their mercurial French forward, Pardew believes his players have enough quality to overcome Anzhi at St James' Park.
"We are pretty much all there apart from Hatem, who's not going to make this game," the Newcastle manager told reporters.
"We're trying to finalise exactly his hamstring injury before we put him back into the fore again. He had a little setback so we're just getting our specialist to look at it (on Wednesday).
"He (Ben Arfa) knows that this injury that he's sustained is an injury that we have to be very, very careful of because more important to us is his welfare going forward so we're not going to take any risks.
"He had a slight little strain in there and we're just checking that strain is no more than that. I think that will be the diagnosis and therefore there is a chance he could be involved as early as Wigan," Pardew added, referring to Newcastle's league match on Sunday.
"And, if I'm honest, this game in particular, him missing it isn't going to make a great impact because I think the team's in a good place and I think we can beat them without him, no problem."