MEHDI Abeid is set for his Newcastle United debut in the Carling Cup tonight.
Manager Alan Pardew will put his faith in his squad against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.
The 19-year-old Abeid, signed from Lens in the summer, has recovered from the injury suffered in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Sunderland earlier this month.
Abeid quickly earned a promotion to United’s first-team squad after arriving at St James’s Park, and Pardew is considering handing the attack-minded midfielder his full debut.
Pardew is set to rest a handful of his players for Newcastle’s third-round tie against Steve McClaren’s Championship side.
Hatem Ben Arfa is also set for his first start of the season, while the likes of Danny Guthrie, Dan Gosling, Sylvain Marveaux and Shane Ferguson are likely to be involved as well as Sammy Ameobi, whose extra-time goal saw off Scunthorpe United in the last round.
Pardew made six changes for the tie at Glanford Park, and he’ll name a similar team.
However, he’s confident the side he puts out will be more than capable of booking a place in the fourth round. “It will be a similar team to that (Scunthorpe), but it will be a motivated team that comes from the squad,” Pardew said.
“The squad’s the most important thing at this football club. Everybody that is in the squad will play in the first team at some stage this season.
“It’s important that they get a chance and get used to wearing the jersey, but the team has to be good enough to win this game. I want to win it, and the team will be strong, and the bench will be strong too.”
Pardew will be keen to avoid another period of extra-time ahead of Saturday’s home game against Blackburn Rovers.
However, he’ll take a win whatever way it comes.
“I was very relieved to get the job done in extra-time last time,” he said. “You just want to win, and cup competitions are about being in the hat.
“That’s all that matters, and I don’t care how we do it. If it is extra-time, then that’s fine for me.”
Let’s just get through to the next round.”