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

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

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

  1. I would like to see Colo alongside Good this evening. Actually get a glimpse of what we’re dealing with worse comes to the worse this season.
    Also think Cisse should start again, try and get a goal to get him up and running. AC on for a good half hour if we’re comfortably winning/

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  2. Id play a stronger team tonight personally we dont have the same schedule that we did last week. We play tonight, sunday night and then have the international break.

    Id start with a few of the regulars, Cabaye to help get his fitness up, Simpson to stop their left winger who tied tav in knots and the Cisse up top because it couldnt harm him to bag a couple…

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  3. Just got to cross our fingers and hope tbh.
    Every single of one of us were shocked by last season. Lets hope it’s the same this year.
    Harper
    Perch?
    Good
    Willo
    Raylor
    Obertan
    Abeid
    Bigi
    Jonas
    Vuckic
    Ba

    Is probably how I’d line up for European games (with Marv starting in place of Ba in the league and Anita in for Jonas).
    Or Tav RB and Perch in the centre.

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  4. Berbatov: The Bulgaria international, who worked with Jol at Spurs, is available at United for around £4m and had been due to leave for Fiorentina, only apparently to go back on a verbal agreement to join the Viola.

    I know, crazy talk, but Berbatov for 4m?

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  5. Looking at some other squads: Arsenal/Chelsea/Liverpool/Spurs etc
    Is our striker situation better than theirs ❓
    I reckon it’s better than all other theirs as it stands.

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  6. @ FSOTC
    Can’t see it happening at all due to wages/age.
    Shame, I love him as a player and I’ve definitely seen an interview with him where he says he used to support us when he was young – Shearer was his hero ❗

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  7. You make a good point about the scheduling Toonsy. I don’t think we can get ’round it really though without causing too much of an upset to the PL fixtures, and we all know Sky push the buttons there. Champions League ain’t that much different when you consider they play on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. A lot of CL teams will play on Saturday and that’s still a 48hr break after Wednesday, alternatively Tuesday is 48hr break after Saturday.

    I just think teams who qualify for Europe should have squad depth capable of dealing with it, really. After all, the PL league finishing prize money, competition money, gate receipts and TV cash SHOULD effectively allow the club to deal with it by getting in a extra few players.

    Way I see it anyway.

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  8. Sunderland being very pro active this summer. Clear they’ll be one of every team below us last season that will close the gap this season.

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  9. ST, yeah think I can remember that too.
    He would be a quality addition if we could negotiate with him. Fiorentina (I think) have basically called him a **** and publicly humiliated him for not turning up for his medical with them. He’s said he wants to stay in England…. ❓

    Stranger things have happened. 😯

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  10. Spyro 😆 …as if their surname is ‘Mullet’ 😆
    I suppose they do have back-to-front mullets. You could shave the back of their heads and paint a face on.

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  11. Whens the team announced for tonight’s game? Ne interesting to see who starts..

    Stuart, Liverpool were very proactive last season and they faired well in the pl didn’t they 🙂 🙂 buying lots of players won’t ensure success or vast improvement..

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  12. …it helps if you don’t hire a crap manager and buy ****e though, Oswaldo. 😉

    If we’d spent as much as them last season with Carr’s knowledge can you imagine what we’d be like now! 😯

    I don’t think anyone wants us to spend stupid money. 15m would probably do it.

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  13. Looking forward to tonights game , Im sure I have itv4 on my sky box so hopefully can sit back with a few bottles of heinken and enjoy it!

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  14. Rodz, My point is that buying lots of players, doesn’t nessesarily mean improvement on the park..

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  15. I think there’s gona be a bit of a frantic merry-go-round tomorrow with regards to player ins and outs.

    FSOTC they would if they did what I suggested @15 😉 …maybe that’s what the accused was attempting. Can’t blame him. I’d give it a go.

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  16. No Oswaldo, but it helps if you pick the right players and we seem to have ‘the knowledge’. I only really want 2 more in, and respect Carr’s judgement. I also (sort of) respect the board’s philosophy of not over-paying, but we just seem to try and buy ‘cheap’ players for even cheaper. Anyway, I’ll shut up about it now. Still time.

    I’m off anyway, got to water the badgers. Laters……….. 😎

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  17. FSOTC, I’ve actually got a mulet set of fridge magnets on my fridge, 😆 so I know my ‘Tennessee Top Hats’ from my ‘Squirrel Pelts’ 😉

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  18. Rodz, I agree about what is needed but the constant worrying about what every other team is doing doesn’t help the anxiety levels around the place..

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  19. I know what you mean Oz, but that’s this stupid fkn transfer window for you. I wish they’d just fk it off. I don’t think anyone likes it.

    Reet, definitely off noo…….. 😎

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  20. I think tonight I’d like to see the following team:

    Harper
    Tav/Williamson/Good/Raylor
    Amal/Bigi/Anita
    Campbell/Cisse/Marv

    If not that line up, I’d start with the same team as the first leg, see if they can do better the second time round.

    I’m bloody nightshift tonight so will miss it!!
    Thank god for sky plus

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  21. Kaboul out for 4 months
    Lucas out for 3 months

    So does anyone agree that we have the best strikeforce (regardless of any other transfers in the league) bar the Manchester clubs ❓

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  22. Solano i would agree we do out of a starting 11 strikeforce however strike force in depth no we only have ameobi

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  23. Robbie Savage ( **** ) has tweeted saying Blackburn have agreed an £8 million fee for Jordan Rhodes 😯 😯 😯 The football world and the chicken world has gone mad if that is true

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  24. ST – I don’t see it I’m afraid. Cisse and Ba yes of course they are up there but Sholas goal scoring record isn’t brilliant and I don’t see him playing too many 90min games this season. Campbell looks promising but is far from proving he can cut it at the top level.
    Ranger has no place at the club and the end of the season can’t come quick enough so we can finally get rid of xsico.
    I’d be happier if we had 3 quality CF and the Campbell coming through for development.

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  25. Johno – it’s stupid deals like that – and every player Lpool sign that makes other clubs drive their prices up. £8m for Rhodes is nuts, as was Fletcher for £12m – nee wonder Lpool want £20m for Carroll!! 👿

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  26. Solano-we have one of the best strike forces out there in regards to the first team. However as we are currently set up then I wouldn’t say we’re that great, although the players are there to put the g away, oalsI just don’t think we’ll make enough chances.

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  27. the simple fact is.. if we don’t concede tonight we go through, so we should play a strong defence with plenty of speed in midfield to catch then on the break. We dont play Villa till Sunday and I dont think our centre halfs will be expected to bomb up front tonight so play a full back four, maybe raylor for simpson and they should still be ok for Sunday.

    ………………………………. Harper………………………………………….
    Simpson…………… Saylor……………Collocini………….Santon..
    ……………….Raylor………….Bigi…………Anita……………………..
    …………………………Obertan………marevaux……………………….
    …………………………………… Cisse………………………………………

    give cisse and ba 1/2 each….or 20 mins each and give campbell 20mins at the end up top…

    if we do get a couple up by the 2nd half… rest the defence,

    we can give the kids games in the group stages, lose tonight and thats it / over…

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  28. ICEDOG
    August 30, 2012 at 11:41
    BATTY what am i to do with all these boxes of hankerchiefs are you sure they are all to go to dave<<<<< no dog ive told u we will make a killing when a couple of players leave tomoz and no 1 comes in ,Sell them to the dreamers 😉

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  29. @ Newkie/Sharpy/LST

    But whose strikeforce squad depth is better?

    Spurs – Adebayor/Defoe…?
    Arsenal – Podolski/Giroud/Chamakh/Bendtner (Two crap, two unproven)
    Chelsea – Torres/Sturridge….?
    Liverpool – Suarez/Borini/Carroll (Suarez is class but incapable of scoring, Borini unproven).

    @Newkie – based on the three games this season i definitely agree, today and Saturday are going to be better indicators though I’d hope.

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  30. Kev – I’m sure Rodz was saying earlier that the away goal rule doesn’t count at this stage of the competition.
    So we need not to concede but also need to score.

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  31. yes they do… just checked…

    http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2013/matches/

    The UEFA Europa League comprises three qualifying rounds, a play-off round, a group stage and five knockout rounds.
    Qualifying
    In matches in the three qualifying rounds and the play-offs, clubs play two matches against each other on a home-and-away basis. The club which scores the greater aggregate of goals qualifies for the next round, with away goals and then penalties used to determine the winner in the event of a draw.
    Group stage
    The play-off round winners join the ten losers from the UEFA Champions League play-offs and automatic entrants. The clubs are split into 12 groups of four teams, playing home and away against each of their pool opponents between September and December. Two sides from each section advance, proceeding into the round of 32 alongside eight third-placed teams from the UEFA Champions League group stage.
    Knockout phase
    From the last 32 until the semi-finals, clubs play two games against each other on a home-and-away basis with the same rules as the qualifying and play-off rounds applied. In the last 32, group winners and the four third-placed sides from the UEFA Champions League with the best records are seeded, guaranteeing they will play the second leg at home. Teams from the same group or the same association cannot be drawn together. From the round of 16 onwards the draw is free.
    Final
    The final is decided by a single match, which this season will be played at the Amsterdam ArenA on Wednesday 15 May.
    Further details, including the criteria for separating teams that finish level on points in a group, can be found in the official competition regulations.

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  32. Rodz @ 11
    Why would it not be possible to play Europa games on the same nights as C/L games. Surely it’s possible for TV company’
    s to work round it. 2-1 tonight will do me. Howaaaaaaay the Lads.!!!

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  33. KKFOREVER your spot on getting right on my ****.just thought i would keep a few of those hankies for dave he seemed to need them y/day 😀

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  34. Amsterdam 15th May it is then…end of season party, champions league qualification and a bit of silverware…. and Mike’s buying … oh thats where it fell down 😀

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  35. ST – Spurs and Chelseas question marks will be replaced by quality strikers by the end of the week though. Arsenal – I’d swap Chamakh or Bentnar for Shola, and Lpool, again I’d swap Borini for Shola.
    Everton also have Jelavic, Mirallas, Naismith and Anichebe and Vellios for development.

    Like I said before, if we could add another quality forward to what we have I’d be happy.

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  36. ST-It’s not entirely about strike force though, when you consider that both Spurs and Chelsea could play one (Adebayor, Torres) and pack their midfield with such quality-Bale, VDV, Siggy, even Lennon, then Mata, Hazard Ramires or whoever and serve up chances to their strikers on a plate. Us? Well we have Cabaye, who sitting back does very little, then Benny if you don’t include him as a forward. Jonas? No chance. Marveux? Just as untested as Podolski and any other new signings. Tiote? He can deliver decent crosses but he’ll never cut a defence open.

    Spurs should be ecstatic that they have the choice between playing adebayor or defoe because they’re both quality and they have immense playmaking quality in midfield. Us, not so much..

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  37. KKFOREVER@58 ,Agree it’s getting on my nerves now ,every bloody interview he has to mention it,I don’t ever hear other managers do it. It’s almost like he’s advertising them.

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  38. M

    Some lad who is claiming to be a former setanta reporter, He was claiming that Carroll was a done deal the other day. So its probably *******

    A few other jumping on the bang wagon now

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  39. @Newkie
    But I thought most of us were in agreement that playing one up top is our preferred formation also?
    Tbh, I’m just trying to look at the angle that we don’t “need” a striker if we are playing one up top. None of the competition have three quality strikers. In Arsenal and Liverpool’s case they don’t even have 1 proven Prem goal scorer.
    So it’s just something I don’t think we need to be overly angered by.

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  40. Sharpy, I said it did count mate.

    Kev, I agree with your defensive argument. Totally. But I’d probably play Jonas instead of Raylor. Bring Raylor on towards the end when they’re tyring and probably gona concede more fouls. that sort of makes sense to me, but it’s probably rubbish. 😆

    Porcie@57 I agree that makes sense. But my point of it not making that much difference was due to there still only really being 2 days break I.E. Thursday Europa/Sunday PL – Sat PL/Tues CL – Sun PL/Wed CL.

    I guess ideally PL games for European teams would all be on a Saturday, and the Euro games on Wednesday, giving 3 day break in between. However, this would only make a difference if the following week’s PL game was on a Sunday – giving a 3 day break between all fixtures.

    It sounds like a fkn nightmare to organise to be honest. I just think if you’re good enough to play in Europe you should have a squad (depth) capable of dealing with it.

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  41. @Sharpy
    I really rate Jelavic, but none of the other strikers have proven goal scoring records in even half decent leagues.
    On that same notion we “could” sign another striker as well?!
    The question isn’t Bendtner and Chamakh for Shola — It’s Ba/Cisse/Shola for Podolski/Giroud/Chamakh/Bendtner
    I wouldn’t take that swap ❗
    It really does just show that the grass isn’t greener a lot of the time.
    Obviously I think we should invest defensively. But striker wise I don’t think any clubs outside of Manchester are better than us in that department even without reinforcements.

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  42. So I definitely don’t want Carroll.
    A right winger/ forward that can play right wing would be of much greater benefit to the team as we could then free HBA in the centre behind the striker.
    I’d be annoyed if we signed a striker and didn’t get a CB/Debuchy as those funds could’ve been used to provide extra funds in defence.
    12 Mill a 3rd choice striker in a team that should be playing with a 1 striker system really would be a waste of money given our other immediate needs.

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  43. SOLANOSTRUMPET#73… agreed 13m for carroll would be better as 8m for debuchy and 5m for Douglas and play one up front.

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  44. …actually, regarding the two day break in between fixtures I’m blabbering on about@70. It just wouldn’t work as we have a seven day week; fixtures would just keep moving forward…. I.E.SAT s,m,t, WED, t,f,s, SUN, m,t,w, THURS, f,s,s MON etc… 😆

    We should just adjust our hour system and make an 8 day week consisting of 21hr days, that should sort it. 😎

    I’d call the extra day Funday, position it before Saturday, and declare it compulsory for people to have fun; or they’d face the electric chair. 😎 😆

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