Game On! Newcastle v Benfica


In terms of our “week of destiny” or so it has been labelled, this is game number two of three.

Following on from our last-gasp victory over Fulham we now have the task of trying to overcome a 3-1 first-leg deficit against a Benfica side who look rather handy.

It’s a difficult task but not unachievable thanks to an away goal scored by Papiss Cisse last Thursday. Unfortunately for us though, two lapses in concentration, or defensive howlers if you prefer, have left us with work to do if we are to reach the Semi-Final of the Europa League. If we can get past this one it has to go down as one of our best nights in recent years such is the scale of the task at hand.

A full house at St James’ Park will pretty much guarantee that the lads have vocal backing throughout the match. When backs are against the wall the folk of Tyneside tend to come out fighting and Benfica can expect a raucous atmosphere inside the ground. An early goal in favour of the home side will only serve to increase the volume levels.

United will have to go to battle without several first-team players missing through injury and through being ineligible to play in this competition for us. However on the plus side, for tonight anyway, we have Hatem Ben Arfa available after recovering sufficiently from a hamstring injury earlier than expected. As a further boost in general, United will be boosted by the return of several more first-team players ahead of the visit of Sunderland on Sunday.

For details of exactly how many injuries we are carrying, some detail about the match along with some stats and facts about this game and our participation in Europe in general, then why not click here and read my match preview of the game if you haven’t already done so?

The game itself is being shown live on what was formerly known as Liverpool TV but is now simply referred to as ITV4. That means that a lot of those who weren’t able to grab tickets to the game will be able to watch it live on the box. It’s also scheduled for live broadcast in lots of overseas countries but although it’s easily accessible there will still be people who need to watch it via a stream, so if you happen to find a good stream then please feel free to share it by leaving a link in the ‘comments’ section below.

Team news will be added at the bottom of this article and will be detailed in full as and when it becomes available. I’ll be at work and will be missing the game so once again it will be Big Dave who will be filling my boots and providing you with the teamsheets.

And that is just about that. Now it’s over to the ones that can make or break the night. Will we have more magical moments on Tyneside this evening? Or will the staff at St James’ Park be packing away the Europa League banners for an as yet unspecified amount of time?

Howay the lads!

Newcastle: Krul; Simpson, Williamson, Yanga-Mbiwa, Haidara; Bigirimana, Cabaye (c), Anita, Gutierrez; Sissoko; Cisse.

Subs: Elliot, Perch, Gosling, Marveaux, Ben Arfa, Campbell, Shola Ameobi

Benfica: Artur, Luisao, Garay, Almeida, Gaitan, Matic, Perez, Lima, John, Salvio, Melgarego

Subs: Lopes, Cardoza, Aimar, Pereira, Rodrigo, Jardel, Gomes.

306 thoughts on “Game On! Newcastle v Benfica

  1. MM@297 But then surely people could argue that you’re not getting your “head around” the fact that by your own definition of a “consistent striker”, such a player doesn’t exist, every striker misses more than he scores, every striker get’s caught offside. The words aren’t too difficult 😉 😆 He does deserve a bit of criticism every now and again but some go over the top(not you by the way…..well not so much 😆 ) but which ever way you look at it he’s in a canny vein of form, it’s funny but when he wasn’t so hot, the likes of Micky12 was fond of using “stats” to try and show him to be a poor players, doesn’t seem to do it now,mmmm wonder why 🙄


  2. Lads, we’re talking different languages here. I love Cisse to bits, but contend that he is incosistent in front of goal and is offside way too often. If you insist that he is an untouchable then so be it. You lot ganging up on me isn’t going to scare me off :-). Andy Cole for example would have had 2 hat-tricks against Benfica and we would be in the semi final now… 🙂

    Richie, it’s nice of you to be poor old Pootles minder… 😆 maybe I am one of those that has criticised Cisse too much but I just get frustrated by the lad. But I still love him to bits, I don’t understand why someone cannot be criticised.

    Toonsy, I don’t know enough about Benteke mate, but he looks like a real handful and can lead the line well. However there is no way that he would score the amazing athletic goals that Cisse scores.


  3. Aussie Mag, divvent speak about Obafemi Martins and Cisse in the same breath mate. They are worlds apart those two. 😆


  4. Toonsy@300, I trust you’re not trying to pin anything on me there regarding Cisse. 😕
    Just for the record I’ve never said that Cisse isn’t good enough for us, I’m just saying that he misses good chances and is offside way too often at the moment. But I still love the bloke to bits..


  5. Munich… Did you miss the bit when I said he deserves criticism now and again? I said some go over the top and also said not you, those “some” will say he’s shit regardless of how he plays and are basing their opinions on a blinkered dislike for him rather than his performance…imo.


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