Newcastle prepare to do battle in Belgium this evening knowing full well that a win at the Jan Breydel Stadium will ensure qualification through to the knockout stages of the competition.
We will of course be boosted by a sizeable presence from our own fans, both inside the ground and in the centre of Brugge itself.
This follows some rather harsh words from the Belgian police pretty much threatening fans who are in and around the ground without match tickets with arrest. However from my experience of them they just sit around not doing a lot. In Brussels there has been a police van parked on the corner of the financial district since April. It’s never moved and I’ve never seen anyone in it which just about sums them up for me!
Those harsh words have since been diluted and it would appear that the Belgian authorities have relaxed their stance and have decided to be rather more pro-active in their approach to us. This includes setting up a kind of fan park in the centre of Brugge, complete with big sreen, so fans without tickets can enjoy the match and a bit of atmosphere. I dare say it’s also viewed that having everyone in one place is much easier to handle, a bit like the pub in Shameless if you like. If you’re interested you can see what fans in the Market Square are up to by clicking here.
In terms of the game itself, the match preview is situated here if you haven’t already taken a look at it, or if you just want to see what people are saying ahead of the game tonight.
It is an early start at 6pm UK time, but it is also live on ESPN for those who aren’t travelling to the match or watching in a pub. If you haven’t got ESPN then don’t worry as it is also being broadcast on numerous overseas channels so finding a stream shouldn’t be too much of a big deal. As always though, if you happen to find a good one, or one that just plain works, then please feel free to leave a link to it in the ‘comments’ section below.
Team news, as ever, will be added below as and when it become available.
Howay the lads!
Club Brugge(4-4-1-1): Bojan Jorgacevic; Tom Hogli, Carl Hoefkens, Michael Almeback, Jordi Figueras; Maxime Lestienne, Ryan Donk, Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe, Ivan Trickovski; Jesper Jorgensen; Carlos Bacca
Subs: Vladan Kujovic, Mohammed Tchite, Bjorn Vleminckx, Bart Buysse, Bjorn Engels, Birger Verstraete, Nathaniel Lagrou
Newcastle (4-2-3-1): Tim Krul; Vurnon Anita, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini, James Tavernier; Gael Bigirimana, Cheik Tiote; Gabriel Obertan, Sylvain Marveaux, Sammy Ameobi; Shola Ameobi
Subs: Rob Elliot, Shane Ferguson, Davide Santon, Steven Taylor, Yohan Cabaye, Romain Amalfitano, Papiss Cisse