Ameobi returns for Magpies at West Brom

The Northern Echo: BACK IN THE SIDE: Shola Ameobi returns to Newcastle's starting line-up for today's away game at West Brom BACK IN THE SIDE: Shola Ameobi returns to Newcastle's starting line-up for today's away game at West Brom

SHOLA AMEOBI returns to the starting line-up for Newcastle United's opening Premier League game of 2014 at West Brom.

Ameobi comes back into the starting line-up for Vurnon Anita, who drops down to the bench.

The change is expected to accompany a switch in formation, with Ameobi set to start as the central striker in a 4-3-3 system, with Loic Remy and Yoan Gouffran playing on either side of him.

Yohan Cabaye, who is retained despite Alan Pardew hinting he might be rested earlier in the week, will start in a deeper role alongside Cheik Tiote and Moussa Sissoko.

Pardew has opted to keep Hatem Ben Arfa on the bench, and there is also a place for Steven Taylor among the substitutes.

West Brom have named Nicolas Anelka in their starting XI despite the controversy surrounding the striker's goal celebration in the recent 3-3 draw with West Ham.

WEST BROM (4-2-3-1): Foster; Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell; Mulumbu, Yacob; Amalfitano, Sessegnon, Brunt; Anelka.

Subs: Myhill (gk), Vydra, Berahino, Gera, Morrison, Long, Lugano.

NEWCASTLE (4-3-3): Krul; Debuchy, Coloccini, Williamson, Santon; Cabaye, Tiote, Sissoko; Remy, Shola Ameobi, Gouffran.

Subs: Elliot (gk), Haidara, Yanga-Mbiwa, S Taylor, Anita, Ben Arfa, Cisse.

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