For 90 minutes on Sunday life in Sédhiou, southern Senegal will be placed on pause. Papiss Cissé, the town's most famous son, is expected to lead Newcastle United's attack at home to Manchester United and his every touch will be cheered.

People in Sédhiou remember Cissé as a 15-year-old, whose first job was driving an ambulance. It explains why the striker sends a significant percentage of his wages back home. Cissé has already bought the local hospital a new ambulance and x-ray machines and is funding the purchase of further medical equipment as well as the building of an education centre and a mosque.

The 27-year-old is motivated by the memories of Sédhiou's hospital being so primitive that he regularly had to drive patients 188 miles to Dakar, Senegal's capital, only for several to die en route.

Newcastle is a different world but both the city and Sédhiou will be in party mode should Alan Pardew's side reprise the 3-0 win they enjoyed against Manchester United last January. At the time Cissé was still to complete his £9m move from Freiburg and it was left to Demba Ba and Shola Ameobi to deconstruct Sir Alex Ferguson's defence.

Now though Ameobi is pushing Cissé hard for a starting place, while Hatem Ben Arfa has excelled on the right of the front three. Pardew trusts this attacking armoury will not only compensate for a raft of defensive injuries but eclipse Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie.

"Audacity" is fast becoming one of the Newcastle manager's favourites words and he hopes Cissé and company will be full of it against United. "We have to have the audacity to take the game to Manchester United," Pardew said. "If you sit back they'll beat you. That's what they've been doing for 20 years, finding ways through defences. We have to get enough control of the game to create chances for our goal-scoring assets."

Newcastle's early season struggles to recapture last season's "rhythmic football" – another of Pardew's favourite terms – saw their manager "read the riot act" in the dressing room earlier this week.

Happily for Pardew, Thursday night's 3-0 Europa League win against Bordeaux suggested that his players had taken heed, but if United are to be overcome, Newcastle will require Yohan Cabaye and Cheick Tioté – Cissé's best friend – to excel in central midfield.

Like Tioté, Cabaye and Ba, Cissé, so prolific last season, began the new campaign slugglishly, but a fine goal against Bordeaux suggested he is now back on form. "I have some surprises for defenders," he said. "It's a secret, something I've been working on with the coach."

It could be a long afternoon for Rio Ferdinand.