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Ben Arfa ready for 'big week'

Hatem Ben Arfa knows Newcastle United are facing a 'big week' as they try to keep on the heels of the UEFA Champions League places.

Last Updated: 06/11/12 at 17:33 Post Comment

Hatem Ben Arfa: Newcastle are preparing to face Bruges and West Ham United

Hatem Ben Arfa: Newcastle are preparing to face Bruges and West Ham United

After a surprise fifth-placed Premier League finish last season, Alan Pardew's club have set the ambition of breaking into the top four in the current campaign.

Sunday's draw at Liverpool leaves them three points behind in-form Everton, who occupy fourth spot, and Newcastle do not want that gap to get any bigger.

Pardew's side have won only one of their last five league games and they are also wrestling with the fixture congestion of participating in the Europa League.

And ahead of games against Bruges and West Ham United, Ben Arfa knows it is a critical point in the season, as he told the Chronicle: "We have a big week ahead.

"First Bruges and then West Ham and we have to win both. If we win the next few games in the Premier League, we will move up the table.

"There is West Ham first and then Swansea. I think the next five games are very important."

Newcastle will have to cope in the Premier League without suspended captain Fabricio Coloccini for three matches after his reckless red card at Liverpool.

Ben Arfa said: "It was the only bad part of the day. We have lost Colo' and he is very important for us. It was the worst experience of the day to lose him.

"I did not see the tackle. Sometimes it is about tension in the game. Maybe that is what happened."

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eanwhile, England's best U21 players playing with those most likely to be in the senior team from 2020 onwards might increase their chances in those tournaments to a point where they could actually be potential winners. Unlike 2016.

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or the time being we just have to focus on the players we do have, Rodgers said. We have to make the best of what is available. Jesus wept!

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