Newcastle v Atromitos – Europa League match preview

St James' Park.

St James' Park.
European football returns to St James’ Park
Newcastle face Atromitos again tomorrow evening with a place in the Europa League proper at stake for both sides.

The score is poised at 1-1 after Ryan Taylor rescued a point in Athens and to be honest the away goal probably gives United the edge in this encounter.

However away goals count for nothing if you get sloppy and allow the other side to muster one themselves so Newcastle will have to guard against complacency as they look to secure the result and with a place in the draw for the group stages of the Europa League which will be held Friday lunchtime.

It’s likely we will see more than the handful of fans who made the trip to Athens last week turn out to support the team, but it won’t be a full house and as things stand level seven will be closed, unless demand dictates that it is opened up. For a qualifier though I very much doubt that will happen, but then again I wouldn’t put it past the Toon Army!

Along with securing a safe passage through to the group stage, United are obviously going to want to bounce back from the defeat suffered at Stamford Bridge last Saturday. It should help that the player have had a few days off since then and haven’t been forced to play less than 48 hours after the final whistle again, but it’s also worth noting that our next league comes up rather quickly again when Aston Villa visit St James’ Park on Sunday afternoon.

With that in mind I expect to see a largely second string side once more with our more senior players rested for the Premier League match at the weekend. Cheik Tiote is out anyway, as is Hatem Ben Arfa through suspension, whilst question marks remain over the fitness of Haris Vuckic, Shane Ferguson and the Ameobi’s.

As well as blooding younger players and fringe players, this match could also be used as a fitness exercise. Both of our strikers have looked rusty, especially Papiss Cisse, while Yohan Cabaye only managed to play 18 minutes of pre-season followed by two 75 minute league appearances. Perhaps giving them some game time would be beneficial? Or should they be wrapped up in cotton wool?

Personally I’m getting cheesed off with this Europa League malarkey already. Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact we’re in it, but it just feels that the way the games are scheduled are a form of punishment for success as opposed to a reward. If the scheduling was sorted perhaps more teams would take it more seriously?

Coverage of the match will be provided by ITV4 so as long as you have at least freeview on your telly you’ll be able to watch us, hopefully, progress. That is of course if you can;t get there yourself…

Howay the lads!

Date: Thursday, 29th August, 2012

Time: 8pm

Venue: St James’s Park

90 thoughts on “Newcastle v Atromitos – Europa League match preview

  1. Solano-Well the 1/3 up front we had at the end of last year is definitely my favourite (and presumably most peoples? Right now) However that does imply we’ll be playing Ba out on the left-I think it could work, but others don’t and for whatever reason Pards isn’t trying it. Now if he does, it may not work out, or if it does both will tire with the possibilities of injury which limits rotation.

    If we don’t play Ba well, I can’t see him being too happy if Cisse is on form and never picks up an injury. For the big matches I think you need all your best players on the pitch, and in their best positions and for that some variation is needed. I think Anita(/Jonas) Cabaye Tiote in the mid with Benny behind Ba/Cisse could be our best bet, however that only really leaves Shola to cover for two/three positions, and Marv as I think he could play in the hole. Obertan, Jonas, Sammeobi? Mhm 😕

    I’m not angry by it so much as disappointed. And I’ve generally also agreed that we don’t need an out an out striker as much as a wing/forward, however if we’re going to persist with 4-4-2 then we probably will. In my reply my main point was it’s not as simple as simply comparing our front line with Arsenals or Spurs’. Spurs have two proven PL players, Arsenal did buy good players (although I don’t rate podolski too highly)


  2. Kev – thanks for clearing up the away goal thing, sorry Rodz, you wrote asking if it still stood and I’ve read it that you were saying it didn’t – my mistake mate 😳

    ST – I’d agree at the mo that our money would be better used on a CB and FB rather than a CF. Whilst I think we need a CF, it could probably wait til Jan as I think if we were caught short up front Vukic could fill in. I’d be happier with that than Perch filling in at CB if we are short at the back like.

    ST – who do you feel would be a good 3rd striker for us and how much would you be willing to spend on one?


  3. @Newkie
    Yep I can agree with that. I personally really hope Pardew has the balls to drop either Ba or Cisse, or adopt a different system to accommodate them though. Like you say, it will help ease the injury worries, and it also brings the best out of the team.
    Interesting times. In general our transfers have come out the blue so still got my fingers crossed. Be glad when this is all over.


  4. Sharpy-Agreed, money on a CB would have been better as we could have improved the first team there (imo) as I reckon Staylor will get injured yet again. Right now i’ll just welcome anyone in, and get hissy with anyone out, bar Xisco 😉


  5. Solano-Aye hopefully. Would definitely make sense if we get through to the Europa League proper, and further in the cup runs. Neither of them have played in Europe and I’m sure they’d both be thrilled to play against top teams so rotation later on shouldn’t be a problem. Hopefully pards is just waiting for the window to shut before he starts treading on players’ toes :mrgreen:

    Bloody Fulham getting Berbatov…and just after I put Ruiz in my team 🙄 Still they must be loving it, Zamora for Berbatov 😯 😀


  6. @Sharpy
    I would have liked to see Hoilett or someone young with potential, and ideally able to play on the front of an attacking 3.


  7. In terms of strikers I think it’s really difficult. I only want to play 1 up front so it would mean both Ba and Cisse getting injured for them to start, so noone too expensive, they would also have to be willing to sit on the bench a lot.
    Really tricky.


  8. I don’t understand why we sold Best if we didn’t have a young striker ready to sign tbh.
    He didn’t seem to be asking for a move, was on a pittance and was a fairly capable 3rd choice. We didn’t even get much money for him.


  9. we are paying for xisco (I assume) and ranger… put them on the bench..we might want them to leave but while they are here and we need backup use them… give cisse and ba a rest in the euro games… someone might even like what they see and take them off our hands in january..


  10. Solano-exactly, and he had a proven partnership with Ba which Cisse doesn’t, and despite the stick he got he was a good striker.


  11. ST – but who now though mate, Hiollett would have been good but he plays left and cuts in.
    I think you’re right that our best formation is either the 433 or 4231 – but where you say our best formation plays 1 CF – we don’t. We play both Cisse and Ba at the same time which means we need extra cover.
    I think if we did sign Carroll, he wouldn’t be 3rd choice, he’d be competion for Ba and Cisse.
    Personally I’d have liked to have seen Rhodes come in and form a long term partnership with Campbell but I’d have paid £5m max for him and maybe thrown Ranger into the deal.
    Gary Hooper at Celtic wouldn’t be a bad buy either but again – I think Celtic will want too much for him.


  12. I would like to see a mix of fringe/first team, as we don’t play till Sunday and this game is important.

    I think Tavernier maybe struggled in the sweltering heat against that winger and I think he deserves another shot. Cabaye looked poor against Chelsea and I think he should get some minutes played before maybe Jonas coming on. I think that team has plenty options in terms on set plays and Obertan/Marveaux are good players so should create chances.


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