Nottingham Forest v Newcastle United;
Carling Cup third round;
Tues, 20th Sep; 1945 KO
Newcastle look to have Hatem Ben Arfa back after the winger spent a year off the pitch recovering from injury. Rob Elliot will also make his debut since signing in the summer. Davide Santon won’t play, with his injury still being diagnosed, and Mehdi Abeid, Alan Smith, Haris Vuckic and Mike Williamson won’t be involved.
Pardew facing keeper selection headache
Alan Pardew looks set to hand Rob Elliot his debut for Newcastle tonight, as the Toon prepare to take on Nottingham Forest and progress forward in the Carling Cup.
Elliot was Newcastle’s only signing in the last 24 hours of the transfer window, and the 25-year-old keeper has made his intentions to be first choice clear from the day he moved from Charlton to St James’ Park.
And Pardew admits that stalwart stopper Steve Harper’s days at Newcastle may be winding down, with Tim Krul currently the top keeper and Elliot biting at his heels for a place.
"It's very important, I've spoken to Harper because he wanted to play,” Pardew said.
“I said to him on this occasion [Elliot’s] come into the club and it's important to get a game under your belt.
"When you come in behind two great keepers like we've got here he's got a danger of sitting on the sidelines and people then start asking him when he's going to get his debut and I don't like that.
“He's a good goalkeeper and he'll play. He deserves recognition in his own right."
Newcastle will be hoping to keep to their unbeaten run this season alive with a win tonight, and with Hatem Ben Arfa making a much-anticipated comeback, the Toon will be in good spirits as they travel to Nottingham.