Will Yohan Cabaye’s £20m PSG move benefit Norwich City tonight, or will Hatem Ben Arfa ride to Newcastle United’s rescue?
11:09 28 January 2014
Newcastle United look set to be without star midfielder Yohan Cabaye for tonight’s Premier League match at Carrow Road - but how will that affect Norwich City’s chances of beating the Magpies?
The France international is heading to wealthy French club Paris St Germain in a deal worth an estimated £20m after expressing his desire to play Champions League football.
Cabaye, 28, is due to travel to Paris for a medical today and is expected to not be involved against the Canaries.
However, will his exit act as a boost for Chris Hughton’s side in the build-up to the game, or provide added motivation for Newcastle?
Cabaye had scored five goals in his last seven matches for the Magpies, in a season when he has scored seven goals in 19 appearances overall, as well as been credited with two assists.
According to WhoScored.com, the midfielder has fired in 63 shots so far this season, which ranks him sixth-highest in the Premier League with an average of 3.3 shots per game.
It is a further blow for the Magpies, who have several injury problems going into the match.
Striker Papiss Cisse misses out with a back injury, midfielders Yoan Gouffran and Gabriel Obertan are both ruled out by minor knocks and their skipper, Argentine centre-back Fabricio Coloccini, is out with a knee injury.
It means Alan Pardew has promoted 16-year-old local lad Adam Armstrong into his first-team squad for the match, who plays as an attacking midfielder or support striker.
But there could be a more obvious threat for the Canaries to be aware of, France international Hatem Ben Arfa.
The exciting attacker has been hindered by the form of Cabaye so far this season, restricting him to just nine starts, so could Pardew unleash his undoubted talents at Carrow Road tonight?
However the Newcastle boss decides to deal with the loss of Cabaye, he is frustrated to have lost his star man ahead of the match.
“We are a club that unfortunately at the minute, is not in a Champions League position, so therefore players can turn around to us and say they want Champions League, as Luis Suarez did with Liverpool,” Pardew said.
“He stayed, Suarez, and they have got themselves in a position for the Champions league, but they wouldn’t be there without him.
“It’s a Catch 22 situation: you need to keep your best players to get in there and likewise, they want to play in there, so you have got to give them some hope.
“That’s the position we really need to get ourselves into this year, or definitely next year or the year beyond.”
Do you think the loss of Cabaye will help or hinder Norwich City tonight? Share your thoughts, and score prediction, by leaving a comment below.