The Newcastle squad left Newcastle Airport earlier today for Athens, and at least we now know who the players in the squad are, and it turns out that Alan has taken 19 players along for the first leg of the Europa League playoff with Atromitos FC.
Adam Campbell – likely to start in Athens
This is the 19 man Newcastle United squad that traveled to Athens Greece this morning – in alphabetical order.
Romain Amalfitano, Vurnon Anita, Gael Bigirimana, Yohan Cabaye, Adam Campbell, Papiss Cisse, Dan Gosling, Jonas Gutierrez, Steve Harper, Tim Krul, Sylvain Marveaux, Gabriel Obertan, James Perch, Davide Santon, Danny Simpson, James Tavernier, Ryan Taylor, Steven Taylor, Mike Williamson
So now we know who was on the plane the next thing to do is to work out what the starting eleven will be.
The Ameobi bothers are both injured and so is Demba Ba, Cheick Tiote and Shane Ferguson, which explains why they are not on the plane and Ben Arfa is suspended for Newcastle first thee Europa League games, which is why he’s not on the plane.
And Fabricio Coloccini did not travel so we would assume he will be fit for the game on Saturday at Chelsea, and it’s interesting that Tim Krul and Steve Harper made the trip, but Rob Elliot didn’t.
We had suggested the following as the possible starting eleven on Thursday night earlier today:
Tavernier Williamson Perch Santon
Taylor (R) Bigirimana Gosling Marveaux
Demba Ba Vuckic
But Demba Ba will not play and neither will Vuckic, because they are injured, so with Ba, Ameobi and Vuckic all injured, we have to think that Adam Campbell will get a chance to start up front with Papiss Cisse, as the only two recognized strikers in the party.
So given that, here another shot at the starting eleven for tomorrow – how about:
Tavernier Williamson Perch Taylor(R)
Obertan (Amalfitano) Bigirimana Gosling Marveaux
That’s the best we can do, but it will put Cisse at risk for Saturday, unless Shola is fit, but we don’t know how serious his injury is.
And we have to think that Amalfitano will get some playing time tomorrow, and may even get a starting position on that right wing.
It’s a really tough decision for Alan Pardew to make, and we would think an almost completely changed starting eleven would work best, and put Newcastle in good shape for the Chelsea game less than 48 hours later, while still possibly getting the win tomorrow night, but the manager said yesterday he will not do that.
And Pardew will have some experienced players like Cabaye, Gutierrez and Anita on the bench in case Newcastle need to come back, if they go behind in the game.
What team would you start tomorrow night?
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