HATEM Ben Arfa and Sammy Ameobi are surprise inclusions in the Newcastle United starting line-up for today's game at Premier League leaders Manchester City.

None of the Magpies' injured players have recovered in time for the game at the Etihad Stadium, so the visitors are without Cheik Tiote, Sylvain Marveaux, Gabriel Obertan and Leon Best.

Sammy Ameobi will make the first league start of his career and is expected to line up in a wide midfield position, with Jonas Gutierrez on the opposite flank.

Danny Guthrie will partner Yohan Cabaye at the heart of midfield for the third game in succession.

Ben Arfa is expected to play in a free role behind lone striker Demba Ba as he returns to the ground on which he suffered a double leg break last season.

Nigel de Jong, the player whose tackle led to Ben Arfa being stretchered off, is named in a Manchester City starting line-up that does not feature David Silva or Edin Dzeko.

MAN CITY (4-2-3-1): Hart; Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy; de Jong, Y Toure; Milner, Aguero, Nasri; Balotelli.

Subs: Pantilimon (gk), K Toure, Kolarov, Barry, A Johnson, Silva, Dzeko.

NEWCASTLE (4-4-1-1): Krul; Simpson, S Taylor, Coloccini, R Taylor; Sammy Ameobi, Cabaye, Guthrie, Gutierrez; Ben Arfa; Ba.

Subs: Elliot (gk), Santon, Perch, Gosling, Smith, Lovenkrands, Shola Ameobi.