Newcastle take on Metalist Kharkiv on Ukrainian soil knowing that anything less than a score draw over the 90 minutes will see them eliminated from the competition.
With the score balanced at 0-0 after the first-leg stalemate on Tyneside, we simply must score at least one goal if we are to progress to the last 16 of the competition.
Extra time could be used but only if the score remains 0-0 after 90 minutes in Kharkiv. If it ended 1-1 at 90 minutes United would progress on the away goal ruling with the same principle applying after extra-time if we need it. A penalty shootout could only take place if the score remained 0-0 through 90 minutes of normal play plus the additional 30 minutes of extra time. I think that just about covers what could happen in terms of results…
United named a 19-man squad for the trip to Ukraine and should have arrived at around 1pm this afternoon UK time. There was no room for Hatem Ben Arfa in that squad although Dan Gosling was surprisingly named after being out of action since last Autumn with an ankle injury. That full squad is as follows:
Tim Krul, Rob Elliot, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Danny Simpson, Fabricio Coloccini, Steven Taylor, James Perch, Cheik Tiote, Sylvain Marveaux, Massadio Haidara, Gabriel Obertan, Dan Gosling, Moussa Sissoko, Gael Bigirimana, Vurnon Anita, Yohan Cabaye, Jonas Gutierrez, Shola Ameobi, Papiss Cisse
Yoan Gouffran is cup-tied as is Mathieu Debuchy sort of while Ryan Taylor, Sammy Ameobi and Haris Vuckic all remain sidelined.
United have never won on Ukrainian soil albeit that history only stretches to two games against Dynamo Kiev in 1997 (2-2) and 2002 (2-0 loss). This will be United’s 130th game in Europe. Of the previous 129 we’ve won 72 games, lost 30 and drawn the other 27 matches.
Stats and facts:
Mike Williamson will make his 100th appearance for United if he plays some part in the fixture.
It would appear that a strong side will be named for the game tomorrow so hopefully they can get the job done and return from Ukraine unscathed to tackle Southampton on Sunday.
I won’t get into how I feel about it all. We’ve been there before, you all know where I stand on the matter and we should be looking forward to the game rather than bickering about it.
Howay the lads!
Date: Thursday, 21st February, 2013
Time: 6pm UK time (8pm local time)
Venue: Metalist Stadium, Kharkiv, Ukraine
P.S. Apologies for the relative shortness of this article. I spent last night in hospital watching my ten-month-old son hooked up to oxygen machinery and breathing apparatus so I’ve not had a lot of time. However the boy is fine and just has Bronchiolitis and should be right as rain by this time next week hopefully.