S.C. Maritimo v Newcastle – Europa League match preview

Estadio dos Barreiros - Home of S.C. Maritimo

Estadio dos Barreiros – Home of S.C. Maritimo
It’s here where the fruits of labour from last season are realised as return to “proper” European competition for the first time in five years.

The group stages of the competition kick off in earnest and Newcastle have found themselves drawn together with S.C. Maritimo of Purtugal, FC Girondins de Bordeaux of France and Club Brugge of Belgium. Together the four of us make up Group D with the top two progressing forward to the round of 32.

It’s in the small island of Madeira, off the South-West coast of Portugal that our European campaign really begins. The island capital of Funchal, home of our opponents S.C. Maritimo, is actually closer to Casablanca in Morocco than it is to Lisbon in Portugal, but I’ll spare you any more geography lessons!

Team news: Newcastle

Hatem Ben Arfa serves the third and final game of a suspension earned during his days with Marseille. Cheik Tiote, Ryan Taylor, Tim Krul and Danny Simpson are all out and Fabricio Coloccini is highly unlikely to feature. Papiss Cisse misses out through illness whilst Demba Ba has been left out of the squad entirely.

Team news: S.C. Maritimo

Maritimo have just one absentee going into the match. Midfielder Rodrigo Antonio was sent off in the second leg of their play-off clash with FC Dila of Georgia and will miss the game through suspension. Apart from that they have a clean bill of health.

Team selection

Once more we are likely to see a change from the side that played at Everton on Monday night, and with a Premier League game against Norwich City to consider on Sunday afternoon I’d tend to agree with that. However it’s all about striking the balance between trying to do well in the Europa League and trying not to impact on our domestic season.

Alan Pardew has already admitted that he will change the team around, but what changes can he really make? And how far do you go with said changes?

In terms of defence there isn’t a lot we can do. Perhaps we could bring in James Tavernier and Shane Ferguson at right and left back respectively, but then you are relying on Mike Williamson and Steven Taylor playing three games in six days. Perhaps Tavernier could slot into central defence in place of either Taylor or Williamson instead?

In midfield I’m actually not too worried. We have the resources in that part of the pitch to completely change things around with players like Gael Bigirimana, James Perch, Sammy Ameobi, Dan Gosling, Romain Amalfitano, Gabriel Obertan and Sylvain Marveaux all able to fill in.

Up front we are struggling again. Shola Ameobi and Adam Campbell are the only two fit recognised strikers we have taken to Portugal. Mind you Campbell scored again for the ressies yesterday!

Did you know?

This is the fourth side from Portugal we have faced in European competition. The other three are Sporting Lisbon, Vitoria Setubul and FC Porto.

This is United’s 17th season of European football.

We have played Maritimo before, way back in 1982 in a friendly match that we won 1-0 courtesy of a Chris Waddle goal.

Shola Ameobi is our second highest European goalscorer ever with 12 goals, including that goal in the Nou Camp all those years ago. Mind you, he is some way behind Alan Shearer who has 30 European strikes for United to his name.

Final thoughts

I want to see us do well more than anything else, and whatever team that plays should go there in the belief that they can win. Realistically a point away from home isn’t a bad result if we make sure we win our home fixtures so I’ll be happy with that.

Maritimo struggle with scoring goals and have done since they sold their start striker to Sevilla over the summer so there is always a chance that we could get something if we can keep things tight at the back.

Now is the time for some of the young lads and fringe players to shine. They will be given a chance and it’s up to them to take it with both hands.

Howay the lads!

Date: Thursday, 20th September, 2012

Time: 6pm (UK time) – Live on ESPN

Venue: Estádio dos Barreiros, Funchal, Portugal

173 thoughts on “S.C. Maritimo v Newcastle – Europa League match preview

  1. I don’t worry about it either ice if I’m honest- just don’t like when they leave on the last day of a window and you can’t replace them.

    I don’t always agree when people say we need to hold onto our best players either. Look at Spurs. Pretty much their whole team was bought off the Berbatov/Keane/Modric sales. We certainly improved by selling Carroll and using the money wisely.


  2. Ice your right if he’s not happy then he can get his agent to shut his mouth and start looking for another club for him. 😉 because Pards can’t allow any player to dictate to him, we had enough of that when clueless Chris was Coach 😀


  3. Toonsy
    If your in Spain does that mean you’ll make the trip to portugal for tonight’s game? 😉
    Is there an airport on the island or do teams that play them travel across by boat? Would be cool to have to travel to an island to play your league match.


  4. Is it definately the £7m clause again or is it the £15m one we were told it had been raised too after july the 31st ??

    Either way tis boring as fuck hes good but hes not irreplaceable


  5. CC ive seen one or two places say 7 but i think thats just an assumption. Pardew said: that situation is ongoing. So it could well be higher or indeed lower


  6. Ryan Keane ‏@RKeano101
    My last retweet proves @dembabafoot is happy at #nufc it’s just agent talk Demba Ba is not going anywhere it’s up to Demba to sort it out
    Retweeted by Demba Ba


  7. The important thing is the season doesn’t become all about one player and his agent/clause or sooner or later it could disrupt the whole squad. I want the press writing about our football again, we were finally getting positive press last season and no longer a laughing stock ,admired even. Then the bloody window opens and the £7m clause rears it’s ugly head and all the other press crap that went on and we get shot of all that and now suddenly the clause is back 👿 you couldn’t make it up , why the hell did lambias & co let the clause ride on to the next window ,just stupid practice imo and a bloody distraction we could do without.


  8. Anyway ,back to tonight .Hopefully the youngsters and fringe players do us proud and give the press and us something/someone else to talk /twitter about. 😉


  9. Dave, I msintain he looks a better full back than winger whilet he has worn the Toon strip, however regarding his schoolboy position and where he plays for N Ireland I cannot argue with you as you know better. 😀


  10. NUFCOfficial: #NUFC (4-2-3-1) v #Maritimo: Elliot; Perch, Williamson, S.Taylor, Santon; Bigirimana, Gosling; Obertan, Vuckic, Amalfitano; Shola Ameobi (c)

    NUFCOfficial: #NUFC substitutes v #Maritimo: Harper, Tavernier, Ferguson, Abeid, Marveaux, Sammy Ameobi, Campbell. #newcastle #europaleague

    MDS the streams should be good if its on espn at least


  11. Team confirmed:
    Lee Ryder ‏@lee_ryder
    #nufc Elliot; Perch, Williamson, S.Taylor, Santon; Bigirimana, Gosling; Obertan, Vuckic, Amalfitano; Shola Ameobi (c)

    Anita has flown home as his partner has gone into labour


  12. so are we looking to Gosling to be the creative spark in m/f or what?
    I was kinda expecting Marveaux to start on the left wing too.
    all very strange.


  13. Also had a feeling we would keep STaylor safe for sunday.
    We cant afford any more injuries to our defence tonight.
    meh ❗
    Howay the Lads.


  14. To be honest Demba Ba is really beginning to annoy me, ever since cisse was signed hes behaved like a spoilt brat, like hes jealous of cisse for taking his central role. We played so well last season with Ba out on the left and cisse through the middle and picked up some cracking results, espeically away from home (Chelsea, Swansea, west brom) and now we seemed to have changed our system just to accomodate Ba and his whinging, no player is bigger than the club and Pardew needs to relocate his balls and sort this out!!!


  15. Has anyone thought of the fact that the club may not mind peddling the “Ba has knackered knees” story to scare off other clubs ?
    At the end of the day, this, plus 7,5 million pounds transfer fee, plus over 50K a week salary to fork out is a lot of cash. In the mean time the toon will stall on contract negotiations because for each month that goes by without Ba getting a pay rise is money under Ashley’s mattress…

    The only ones willing to pay this crazy money are some Turkish club somewhere, cannot see an EPL club paying it…..plus he still has a couple of years on his contract I believe..


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