Pardew ponders Ben Arfa role

April 11, 2013
Football - UEFA Competitions - Bet Now at Bet365

Newcastle United's Hatem Ben Arfa may be thrown straight into Europa League action after making a quicker than expected return from a hamstring injury.

French winger Ben Arfa has only played once since mid-December and the Magpies had been worried that he would not be fit before the end of the season.

However, boss Alan Pardew is pondering casting Ben Arfa into the fray for the second leg of his side's Europa League quarter-final at home to Benfica, with the Portuguese leading 3-1 from the first leg.

Pardew told the Chronicle: "We have been very conscious of the picture he is showing us, which is that he is ready. There is nothing to stop him from starting a game.

"Anything can happen when he plays. I do not care who the defence is, if Hatem gets it right then he can be on fire."

With Newcastle 7.00 to reach the last four of the Europa League 34.00 to win the second leg by a 3-0 scoreline, Pardew added: "We caused them a lot of problems in the first leg, we could have had two goals.

"We can create chances. It is about whether we can defend against them."

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