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

Europa League action returns

Europa League action returns
Newcastle return to Europa League action tomorrow evening knowing that victory over Portuguese outfit C.S. Maritimo will guarantee them a place in the knockout stages of the competition next year.

In direct contrast to our Premier League form, our life in the Europa League this season has been relatively easy by comparison. Unbeaten and with only two goals conceded we’ve made light work of our group stage campaign, a feat made even more impressive when you consider the fact we’ve got ourselves to the brink of qualification using mainly reserve and youth players.

However the job is not done yet and heads must be kept in the right place to avoid any signs of overconfidence. There are several scenarios that will see United through to the next round tomorrow night with the most straightforward one being a win for us. However a draw would also suffice providing Club Brugge fail to beat Bordeaux and even a loss would see us through providing Bordeaux beat Club Brugge on Belgian soil although that particular scenario would also see us lose top spot in the group.


Newcastle are without Yohan Cabaye who will undergo groin surgery and will miss “several weeks” as a result although I personally reckon we’re looking at something like a three month absence for the France international.

Also out of action are Adam Campbell, Ryan Taylor, Dan Gosling, Haris Vuckic, James Perch, Xisco and Gabriel Obertan which makes a sizeable dent in our options.

Shola Ameobi has a slight groin niggle and may well be forced to miss the match while Cheik Tiote will watch on from the sidelines as he serves a one game suspension for totting up yellow cards.

Fabricio Coloccini will play as he is banned in the league and this match will offer him some match sharpness and Jonas Gutierrez is expected to return to the side having just missed out against Swansea at the weekend.


The only history between the two sides in the 0-0 draw in our opening group stage game. Maritimo have lost four of their six domestic games since that night in Madeira and they are yet to win in the group stages of Europe scoring just one goal along the way.

Newcastle have never lost to a Portuguese side at St James’ Park. Hopefully tomorrow isn’t a first. Our history against teams from Portugal is as follows.

1968/69 v Sporting Lisbon – 1-0 win
1968/69 v Vitoria Setubal – 5-1 win
1969/70 v FC Porto – 1-0 win
2004/05 v Sporting Lisbon – 1-1 draw
2004/05 v Sporting Lisbon – 1-0 win

Tactics and team selection…

Obviously we aren’t exactly blessed with many options right now so team selection may be quite straight forward for this one. However there are some options at least that we need to consider, those being which of our first team players should we rest and which ones should we play?

Domestically we aren’t at our fluid best so do we name as strong a team as we possibly can in the hope that those who feature in the Premier League can find a bit of form and fluidity? Or do we stick with the largely second string team that has served us so well so far in this competition so far?

Obviously there will be some first team players who play to maintain some fitness, those being Fabricio Coloccini and Jonas Gutierrez while players like Papiss Cisse will more than likely start in an attempt to try and get him back to some sort of form. What about players like Demba Ba and Hatem Ben Arfa though? Protect them or use them?

I’d be tempted to stick with the team that has done enough to get us this far to be honest, with the addition of Coloccini and Gutierrez for fitness purposes and Cisse for form purposes but that is just my opinion.

Final thought

The Europa League has proved to be a rare bright spot in the season so far and it would be a shame for it’s light to fade due to our failure in the league thus far. A welcome distraction? For once that may actually be the case…

Howay the lads!

Date: Thursday, 22nd November, 2012

Time: 8:05pm – Live on ESPN

Venue: St James’ Park

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

  1. I’d stick for the most part with what we’ve had. Cisse ideally to play the 90, although with the injuries we’ve been having lately I’m not sure that will happen… πŸ˜•

    But Ba and Benny have to be on the bench…wouldn’t be against Benny starting though.


  2. Groucho-Honestly I’d start without either, 4-3-3 with Papiss leading the line. Make him the centre point, give him as many chances to score some real goals..

    I still think Ranger is a massive twat, but then I suppose we’re not really in a position to be picky..


  3. Newkie ,I hate the fact that we have to rely on that piece of crap excuse for a human being and hope it doesn’t come down to it tbh. I’m all for second chances but he’s taken the p*** for too long imo.


  4. I think a point from this game should see us through, 3 would guarantee it. The list of injuries is just ridiculous at the moment, but here we go, my line up be:

    —————– Krul ————–
    Simmo – Colo – Willo – Santa
    ———– Tiote — Bigi ———-
    —- Amal — Abied — Marv —
    ————— Cisse ————–

    I think that would be a strong enough team to get the win needed.
    I agree with Kim tho, the win Sunday would be fair more vital.


  5. Off topic – just watch the news about Di Matteo being sacked. Apparently Roman has invested around Β£1 billion into chelsea and have paid out Β£75m in compo to sacked managers!! 😯


  6. ———————–Harper————————–
    Many know that I’m not Ranger’s biggest fan (putting it mildly) but with injury problems I think we have no choice but to make him earn his wage slip.
    Willo and Saylor need to be rested for Saturday so Good is the only other choice unless Tav goes to CB, Anita goes RB and Abeid/Amafilitano is introduced.


  7. Kim-Aye, but look at it on the flip side. Him showing he can play is the fastest way we can get shot of him πŸ˜‰


  8. Sharpy-Yeah, it’s ridiculous money πŸ˜• Didn’t he spend like 14mil on getting AVB from Porto as well? That would buy our entire squad!



  9. I hope I never see Ranger in a toon shirt again – not even a replica from fucking Sports Direct.
    I understand we are struggling with injuries but I’m not bothered. I’d rather stick Harper or Elliott up there than give that little prick the satisfaction.
    Pardew has made his comments on the matter and I’d have more respect for him if he stuck by it.
    You have lads there training and working hard who would be left on the bench for that clown.


  10. Also to be fair, Ranger has been out injured for ages, I assume he’s turning up to training and now playing for the reserves, we may as well play him or we’ll never get shot imo


  11. Newkie – we won’t need to get rid of him, the old bailey will do that for us and have him wearing that alternative kit before long πŸ‘Ώ πŸ˜†

    Seriously though mate, I’d let the sod rot!. Even if we had no strikers at all. I honestly think it would be unfair to overlook the likes of Abied and Marv to put that halfwit straight in there.


  12. Sharpy-Aye probably! πŸ˜†

    You’re right about the other players though that’s why I’d definitely be playing Marv in a 4-3-3 tomorrow, he needs some sharpness to get into the league squad…although his attitude doesn’t seem to have been 100% either..

    But Ranger? Meh…here’s hoping Cisse will get firing and we won’t need to talk about him again.


  13. Newkie – I think it’s a real shame Vickic is injured coz he’d be my preferred choice to play up there. I know he’s an ACM by trade but I think he’d be more than capable of playing up front.
    I’m also starting to wonder whether Abied is getting the Benny treatment. He’s supposed to be a real talent but Pards seems to be holding him back – similar to who he did with Benny last season. I may be wrong like but there must be a reason he hasn’t played him more than what he has.


  14. Every time I have bought a ticket for these games, NUFC/ticket company seek to levy a booking/admin fee. Apparently, season ticket holders are not liable to pay it. This does not stop the company applying it. When I remind them that I am a season ticket holder, they claim not to know anything about the exemption. They then go and check and tell me I’m right. Watch out!


  15. People say I get taken for a ride but I would give a man as many chances as is needed and would let Ranger have another chance. It is Pardew’s decision and if he can’t tolerate him anymore there has to be a parting of the ways. Don’t like the idea if his Toon career is over we should ruin his career in full by letting him rot. Always compared him to Carroll who was two years older and at every stage in his career thought that Ranger was the better prospect.


  16. Sharpy-Yeah, Vuckic’s injuries are just insane πŸ˜• Good point about Abeid though, I hadn’t thought about that. It really is a mystery with him though, I can’t see how keeping him like that is going to improve him? Unless he really, really lacks hunger…still makes no sense to me like.


  17. Toby – in the nicest possible way, you remind me of the frog in the story of the scorpion and the frog. We haven’t ruined his career, we didn’t get the kid arrested or make him turn up later for training. I bet he is paid in one month what I get in a year. His career wouldn’t be over, as when his Newcastle contract runs out, he’d be a free transfer if any other club wanted to waste their time on him. But for me, his toon career would be over like mate.

    Newkie – it worked with Benny. I’m not sure it’s to work on their hunger mate, more their humility.
    Abied was shit hot in the pre season and I wonder if he was perhaps getting a bit big for his boots. Benny seems a lot more grounded since Pardews approach with him last season. Perhaps he thinks Abied would benefit from the same approach. Would be good to see the kid some time soon again though


  18. Toonsy good read mate

    As for the ones calling for Ranger to be given another chance I would rather have Harper play up top, there is no way that gangsta wannabe should be rewarded for being a total fuking knob, and if he does get to play for us then I will be totally pissed with the club and it will send out a real bad message to all our younguns that they can do what they want and be as big a c@nts as they want but if it saves Jabba money then they will get a chance.
    I really can’t understand how any of you’s would call for that waster to get a chance before xisco or anyone else, remember we got shot of 2 strikers in the last window and we have replaced them with who ??????? fuk Ranger 😈 😈


  19. Newkie & Sharpy
    Just a quick comment about Abeid – I don’t know what the real issue is but it has been rumoured that it’s mainly a lack of tactical discipline that’s holding him back. Although he’s undoubtedly a very skillful player it’s been said that he’s not too good at following instructions, so he’ll often frustrate the coaching staff by ending up out of position and not doing the job that he’s been told to do.


  20. Richie talking about the wombat I haven’t seen much of him, but then thats the norm for him when we don’t do well, maybe a fair weather fan πŸ˜€
    I hope he doesn’t have a good feeling about tomorrow night as we never win when he does.
    I just hope we do well, and tbh I would be surprised if we don’t and I would be well fuked off.


  21. If we don’t even wish ranger plays, i actually prefer to see xisco start playing for us. Since we ain’t really having cisse scoring. 😐


  22. ChrisG – thanks for that mate, I’d never heard that but it does explain a lot. The lad looked really good pre season so hopefully whatever Pards is doing with him works, coz he’s just the kind of player we need I think. We’re too dependant on Benny to make things happen, but Abied looked like a player who could come on and change a game for us. Fingers crossed.


  23. AoD – yeah Xisco is injured mate but you’re right, if he wasn’t we should look to start getting him involved rather than Ranger – coz there aren’t many goals in Cisse and Shola at the mo. Not sure how long he’s out like.


  24. I don’t mind playing ranger. half the footballers out there are twats, some people didn’t want barton to be given another chance but then he found form in our season up. if he’s doing well in training then make him work for his wage.


  25. November 21, 2012 at 16:47
    Am I the only one who would prefer Ranger to Shola? At least Ranger can move. lmao bud shola is the best we got in the air and on holding the ball up hes prob the striker whos best at that with us at the moment so thats a big no thank you with ranger


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