Newcastle United won’t miss duo

Newcastle will not lose strike pairing Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba to 2013 African Cup of Nations duty in January after Senegal failed to qualify for the tournament.

It will be a relief for Alan Pardew who faced the prospect of losing both of his main strikers for up to six weeks in January and February especially with only Shola Ameobi and Spanish misfit Xisco the only other strikers at the club.

However it is not all good news for the Magpies as they will be without Ivory Coast enforcer Cheik Tiote for a few weeks but the recent arrival of Vurnon Anita which has strengthened an already solid central unit.

The African Cup of Nations decider between Senegal and Ivory Coast was called off in controversial circumstances on Saturday with Ivory Coast leading 2-0 and 6-2 on aggregate.

The decision to award the visitors a penalty in the 76th minute, which Didier Drogba converted after his opener, sparked crowd trouble.

Elsewhere in the Premier League, Arsenal will lose the services of Ivorian forward Gervinho while Manchester City face losing brothers Yaya and Kolo Toure to the tournament.

Nigeria have qualified for the competition thanks to goals from John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses which secured a decisive 8-3 aggregate win over Liberia and West Ham will lose Modibo Maiga after he helped Mali qualify over Botswana.

Fulham’s Mahamadou Diarra and Queens Park Rangers midfielder Samba Diakite could also be involved in the 6 week tournament that takes place in South Africa at the beginning of 2013.


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