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Pardew hopes for Newcastle's sake that Senegal don't reach Africa Cup of Nations finals

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has admitted he hopes his two star strikers flop in Senegal's crucial match against the Ivory Coast, otherwhise he will have a major problem up front in January when the Africa Cup of Nations commences.

However, his first priority will be to see a return to form of both of them when Newcatle entertain Aston Villa on Sunday, after somewhat underwhelming starts to the Premier League season.

"I think both Cisse and Ba have been under par," Pardew told the Daily Mail, before adding: "Senegal v Ivory Coast is a massive game for this football club.
"If Senegal win that game, we will lose both of them, so in the next window we are going to have to do something about it.

"But in the short term, their form has not been good."

Despite opponents Aston Villa's indifferent start, Pardew has also admitted that his counterpart Paul Lambert has been very unlucky with injuries, and that he expects the Villans to come good.

"I think the manager has been really unlucky because they have had so many injuries to senior players," said the Magpies' boss. "But Paul Lambert cannot be judged, or made accountable for those first two results in the Premier League.

"They will have one or two senior players back. The manager is a great manager. He has proven that by taking a club [Norwich City] through two divisions and into the Premier League.

"I know he is going to make Villa great again. He just needs his senior players back and he needs a bit more time."