Newcastle’s Marveaux and Demba Ba set for debuts at Sporting Kansas City

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SYLVAIN Marveaux and Demba Ba are set for their Newcastle United debuts at Livestrong Sporting Park tonight.

Marveaux hasn’t played a competitive game since last November, when he suffered a groin injury.

And Alan Pardew has admitted he’s still behind in his fitness as a result.

However, the winger, signed from French club Stade Rennais on a free transfer last month, is likely to make his bow against Sporting Kansas City along with fellow new signing Ba, who joined from West Ham United.

However, midfielder Haris Vuckic is unlikely to be involved after suffering a minor knock in training.

“Haris looks like he’s got a little knock, and he’s the only one that probably be involved,” Pardew said.

“Everyone else will get a piece of the action at some point.

“Sylvain Marveaux’s taking a little bit longer than we envisaged, but he’s likely to be involved.”

Meanwhile, Pardew today warned his Newcastle United players that places are at stake for the season-opener against Arsenal.

Pardew’s side take on Sporting Kansas City tonight in their second pre-season game.

While Pardew has an idea of his strongest starting XI for the visit of Arsene Wenger’s side to St James’s Park on August 13, there’s an opportunity for some players to nail down a place over the coming weeks.

Form and fitness are still a prerequisite for selection according to Pardew.

“I think there’s certainly three or four places that are undecided,” Pardew told SportMail.

“The bulk of the team, in my mind, is there, but they’ve still got to stay fit and show form for that to come to fruition.”