Atromitos F.C. v Newcastle – Europa League match preview

Europe starts here for United

Europe starts here for United
Newcastle return to European action for the first time in five years tomorrow evening when we pay a visit to Athens to take on Greek side Atromitos F.C.

This isn’t the Europa League proper though, not just yet, and we have to beat the Greek side over two legs first and foremost before we can start looking at the group stages of the competition.

Being honest I know precisely zip about the Greek outfit aside from bits and bobs I’ve found on my internet trawls. I know they have only played two European games in their entire history (a 6-1 aggregate defeat to Sevilla back in the 2006-2007 season) and I know they have the younger brother of former Newcastle “striker” Shefki Kuqi on their books. Aside from those facts, plus the fact they are from Greece, Athens to be precise, and play in the 10,200 capacity Peristeri Stadium I know not a lot about them so will focus mainly on Newcastle for this preview.

In terms of injury news, Shola Ameobi will miss out as will his younger brother Sammy. Sylvain Marveaux is missing in action as nobody seems to know where he actually right now while Fabricio Coloccini is likely to be given some extra time to recover from the thigh injury that kept him out of the weekend game against Spurs. Hatem Ben Arfa will also not feature as he starts a suspension earned during his days at Marseille.

We are likely to see a largely second string outfit for the game. Partly it’s down to being able to blood some of the fringe players, but a larger proportion of that will be to do with the fact that we play Chelsea at Stamford Bridge less that 48 hours after our game in Athens. Newcastle did try and get the games switched but the Metropolitan Police refused on the grounds that the Notting Hill Carnival will be using up their resources on the Sunday and Monday.

So who can we expect to see in action? Well I’m not too sure so perhaps we can have a bit of a debate about that. What we do know is that Alan Pardew has already prioritised the league and has dropped hints about leaving first team players on Tyneside for this particular trip, which leads to the conclusion that names like Gael Bigirimana, Dan Gosling and Romain Amalfitano will get some game time.

Using nothing but my opinion, and taking Alan Pardew’s words into consideration plus our game against Chelsea at the weekend, I’d field a team that looked something like this:

Newcastle: Steve Harper, James Tavernier, James Perch, Mike Williamson, Jonas Gutierrez, Gabriel Obertan, Gael Bigirimana, Vurnon Anita, Romain Amalfitano, Haris Vuckic, Adam Campbell.

Having said that the team I propose may not have enough experience although the likes of Harper, Jonas, Obertan and Anita have all been playing senior football for years so should be able to help the rest through.

What we need to do is keep things tight ad try to sneak an away goal. The Greek side will see us as a scalp and will want to give themselves something to defend in the second leg so are likely to come at us. We need to soak it up to start with and then hit them where it hurts.

I’m looking forward to our European return. It gives us a chance to look at other clubs who we haven’t for years, or ever as is the case with this fixture. But we still need to do a job and the game is there to be won.

To Atromitos and beyond….

Howay the lads!

P.S. Don’t forget it a 6pm kick-off, UK time.

124 thoughts on “Atromitos F.C. v Newcastle – Europa League match preview

  1. Guthrie leaving us sums up the issue I feel we will face in the future in the transfer market.
    Finding decent players to play second fiddle for a team with a strict wage structure must be so difficult. Youth is the only way really – signing players with the potential to surpass the current first team players and that are willing to bide their time.
    RB & CB are the only positions that could be improved imo at the minute. And if Saylor carries on like last season I’d be happy with him first choice.
    But finding decent quality to fill the squad is going to be a challenge. So we should all be super nice to people like Simmo in the hope he’ll care too much about the fans to leave us even when he’s inevitably relegated to being a squad player.


  2. Rodz – smart arse πŸ™„ πŸ˜€

    Balls it then, if Vikic can’t be arsed I’d go:


    I’ve just realised I dont know if Good has travelled, if not Perchino in his place.


  3. Sharpy, you weren’t the only one mate πŸ˜†
    I blame Toonsy for probably writing the article before the official squad got confirmed. His Vuckic banana skin has caused a few slips. πŸ˜†


  4. Sharpy, this is the squad that travelled:

    Romain Amalfitano, Vurnon Anita, Gael Bigirimana, Yohan Cabaye, Adam Campbell, Papiss Cisse, Dan Gosling, Jonas Gutierrez, Steve Harper, Tim Krul, Sylvain Marveaux, Gabriel Obertan, James Perch, Davide Santon, Danny Simpson, James Tavernier, Ryan Taylor, Steven Taylor, Mike Williamson

    …interestingly enough, Good isn’t there. Could he be in line for a start against Chelsea? 😯

    (I don’t think he’s injured)


  5. Rod, thanks for someone finally putting up a list of whose gone.

    I reckon Good isn’t quite ready for a 1st team game. He’s only 19!


  6. Solano-Aye, guthrie’s problem was he was literally the same age as Cabaye and Tiote, he’d walk into a lot of teams but we’ve got one of the best midfield first team and squads in the league…

    Munich-Hope not πŸ‘Ώ


  7. Andrew, I didn’t think Good would be quite ready either, but I have been wondering whether he’s viewed by the club as the answer to our CB shortage, given our lack of activity for a ‘proven’ player so far.


  8. Rod @ 90 I keep harping back to this but Pards said that the players( prior to Anita ) were all for the future, so I can’t see him ( Good ) being good enough just yet to be our back up CB, but then with Jabba holding the purse strings nowt surprises me πŸ˜•
    MM @ 87 did you see the guy that ripped the other ones shirt of then try to use the ripped shirt to beat him with πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† fuk talk about handbags



    The Mail ;

    Newcastle are refusing to match Liverpool’s Β£20million valuation of Andy Carroll but remain interested in the player.
    The club’s Β£12m bid for the striker is as far as they will go and they have told Liverpool it is up to them to decide if they want to keep an unhappy player at Anfield or let him go.
    Carroll did not start in Liverpool’s 3-0 drubbing at the hands of West Brom and only featured as a substitute – on for another substitute Joe Cole – with 10 minutes remaining.
    Newcastle chief Mike Ashley wants Liverpool to accept that they overpaid for the striker when they bought him from the club for Β£35m in January 2011.
    The 23-year-old would welcome a move back to the north East to the club where he made his name, as he is not among Brendan Rodgers favoured strikers for his system.
    Luis Suarez and Fabio Borini started against West Brom leaving Carroll to sit on the bench glumly.
    West Ham tried to offer Carroll an escape route but the deal fell through.Β 
    Manager Sam Allardyce said: ‘He would have been a massive signing for us and, like everything else, when you see an opportunity you try to go for it.

    ‘Then you get onto negotiations and once that is exhausted you move on, which was a lot sooner than people actually talked about in the media.
    ‘The negotiations were over in a couple of weeks or so regarding whether Andy was or wasn’t going to come to West Ham.’


  10. Dave, as you say, you never know with Jabba. I hope he isn’t the answer but I wouldn’t be surprised.

    Re. the video, despite using a T-shirt as a weapon I think he took about 12 seats to the head, so maybe that clouded his judgement.

    …or it could’ve been a heavy metal T-shirt.


  11. DAVE i asked the other day but you never answered as normal πŸ˜€ is dede still playing or have you dragged him off to chase that little ball with a stick?


  12. Ice sorry mate never seen yeah he has been playing for a summer scheme team, but he is looking forward to getting back to the school team now he’ll be in p6 as last yr he was in p5 so he was playing with all the p6 + 7s and didn’t really know many of them and they looked on him as the wee p5 kid with tics πŸ‘Ώ and that really wound him up, but he has been playing a bit of golf too πŸ˜‰


  13. I know Newkie, it was so obvious. Looks like another job for Pards – this linesman needs a battering πŸ‘Ώ


  14. DAVE tell him chin up,sticks and stones mate,tell him ime asking after him,and may have sumit for him soon but not sure yet so say nowt πŸ˜‰


  15. I swear all the refs and linos who officiate Chelski games are paid a visit from the Russian mafia prior to the game ,don’t know how else to account for the dodgy calls they get . πŸ˜•


  16. Regarding Good – I’d still have taken him, he’s older and has more first team football experience than Adam Campbell or Tav. Bigi and Amal aren’t overly experienced either to be fair. I’d have thought I would have been a good test for the lad and give him experience of the Europa league. I dont think he’s our CB answer just yet and wil certainly be one to develop, but I don’t see any harm in dipping his toe in


  17. Danny Simpson ‏@dannysimpson
    Everyone follow @adamcampbell_ quality young player for the toon n a good lad. #nopressurelad
    Reply Retweet Favorite
    5m Adam Campbell ‏@adamcampbell_
    @dannysimpson love that Simmo, cheers mate !
    Hide conversation
    Reply Retweet Favorite


  18. SHARPY to be fair mate Good has just came after a very long journey and as maybe sorting places to live ect,the first team are away until sat night/sun


  19. Ice he doesn’t normally mind it I think it was just that he was the youngest and only one from his class so he was referred to as the wee lad with the tics. and yeah i’ll tell him πŸ˜‰

    Kim it’s amazing some of the decisions the top teams get

    Sharpy maybe he’s just not up to speed or maybe has a slight niggle or something


  20. Sharpy ,I reckon they will ease Good in very slowly tbh. Different climate ,culture what have you ,it’s not like popping over from France or Spain .If he misses his folks and pals from back home it’s a hell of a journey even by plane .


  21. Don’t get me wrong people, I love the way Pardew has handled the likes of Santon and Ben Arfa and I’ve every confidence that he’ll do right by the lad. He seems to have a great nak at that – which is why I think Ranger is such a bell end, because I’m sure if he played by the rules Pards would have done right by him.

    Loving Simmos tweets about Campbell – good lad.


  22. I hope Campbell gets a good bit of game time tomorrow. Don’t think I’ve ever seen him play, but he sounds like an exciting player. He’s certainly attracted plaudits from those in the know.


  23. Rodz – Was just going to say that. No doubt Campbell is highly rated from within the club, but if he is as special as everyone is making him out be then he really needs to start making his name now like the Owen’s, Rooney’s, Beckham’s and so on did. If you’re good enough you’re old enough and all that


  24. I reckon Collo is going to play at Chelsea and I would hope for,


    Krul, Saylor, Simpson, Anita, Jonas, Cabaye, Cisse
    and Santon rested.

    same team as JOHNO TOON @45 I think that is a team that can do something whilst resting key players.


  25. From the quotes Rodgers has made about Carroll, he seems to have backed himself into a corner on this one and has handled the whole business badly.
    He obviously doesnt want him at Liverpool, Dempsey has effectively gone on strike at Fulham waiting to join Liverpool and he is is obviously the3rd striker he is referring to.
    His sideswipe at Newcastle yesterday is a bit petulant and petty and they seem to forget about the anger it caused when they took one of our best players away on deadline day so if our board have given them a take it or leave it offer whilst watching them squirm, good enough for them.
    Carroll himself must be seething with the public discussions Rodgers is having about his situation, bit of a farce all round.


  26. I’d go;


    Vuckic Williamson Vuckic Taylor






  27. Agree Robert @ 118, surely Carroll cannot stay there after the end of the transfer window, his heart will just not be in it with the way he has been treated. From a starter for England at the euros to a sub for a player who didn’t even make the squad, ridiculous situation that Rodgers has created himself. Poor, poor management.


  28. Robert – we certainly seem to have got under Rodgers skin like don’t we. Bit of an over reaction considering he wasn’t even there when we sold Carroll in the first place.
    Think the truth is that Rodgers wants rid of Carroll for Dempsey but the Lpool board wouldn’t sell for Β£12m which is seriously pissing Rodgers off.
    It doesn’t get us any closer to signing a CF but it’s always great to piss the bindippers off! πŸ‘Ώ πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

    Brendan – I’ll take one for the team and jump straight into ya net … Vukic didn’t travel with the team mate πŸ˜• πŸ™„ 😳 πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜† πŸ˜†


  29. I like Brendan’s line-up, regardless.
    I’d probably put him in goal as well though, just to balance it out a bit more.


  30. I don’t even know the way I ended up here, but I thought this publish was once good. I do not recognise who you might be but certainly you are going to a famous blogger when you aren’t already. Cheers!


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