Queens Park Rangers will be heartened by news that Newcastle have been robbed of one of the stars of their revival ahead of their visit to St James’ Park this weekend.
Fabricio Coloccini could well miss the clash as the Magpies seek their sixth successive victory at 3/4, yet of more concern should be the loss of promising 22-year-old Mehdi Abeid.
The French-born midfielder has started the last three games for Alan Pardew, helping the Tynesiders put down Manchester City, Liverpool and West Brom.
In fact, despite being at the club since 2011, Abeid has ended up on the winning team in every game he has ever played for Newcastle, if the extra-time victory over Crystal Palace in the Capital One Cup is allowed to stand.
Unfortunately for Pardew the Lens academy product sustained a broken toe in training with Algeria during the international break that will keep him out until the beginning of December.
While Vurnon Anita, or Cheick Tiote if he’s fit, will start in his absence, the youngster will be a big loss thanks to his stellar form in recent outings.
He has claimed comfortably the highest average-performance rating of any Newcastle player this term from stats nerds Whoscored.com (7.51 – the next best is Paul Dummet on 7.17).
According to the aforementioned resource the terrier has been grafting his way through an average of five tackles and four interceptions per league game this term.
They’re numbers that put even Crystal Palace’s Mile Jedinak – the Premier League’s hardest working midfielder with a mean 4.6 dispossessions and 3.8 cut-outs – in the shade.
Pardew has credited Abeid’s 2013/14 loan spell at Panathinaikos as helping the youngster improve drastically as a player, encouraging the likes of Gael Bigirimana, Haris Vukcic and Shane Ferguson to pursue similar avenues to the first team.