Atromitos FC finished 4th top of the Greek Super League last season, and will give Newcastle a stern test tonight in the Europa League, when the Magpies take them on at the Peristeri Stadium in Athens tonight.
John Carver keeps things light with Newcastle players yesterday
There are a number of things that will count against Newcastle in tonight’s game and one is the temperature, which will be around 30°C, which is 86°F on the Fahrenheit scale, and the lads will need to pace themselves in the game.
Newcastle also have a game at 5:30 pm on Saturday afternoon at Chelsea, and we assume some of the players that start tonight will also start that game, unless Alan starts a completely second eleven in the game tonight, but he has said he will not do that.
This is what Alan Pardew said last night when he was interviewed by the local Newcastle press about the game:
“The problem for us is just the scheduling not the competition.” “We play at Chelsea on Saturday and the heat and the elements will make it difficult for us. We must factor it all in. The result is the most important we are focusing for a win and hopefully we can achieve that.”
“We have to take the context of the two games into account.” “It is the qualifier of the Europa League and on Saturday we face the European champions. That’s where we are.” “We want to proceed and we have to get a game plan to get through.”
“That’s why we signed 24 senior players as they all have to contribute.” “They all have to show they can threaten the first team.” “This is a big test for our players, for sure. We have played a lot of European sides this summer. We did that to get it right against Atromitos.”
“In terms of Premier League standing you would put us as favourites.” “But we are inexperienced in this competition and will be playing in a temperature that is uncomfortable for us.” “Atromitos are a team that work hard. We have to try to dictate the game.”
“If we can do that we can get a result. For Atromitos this is a big game and we’d be a real scalp for this team.” “We have respect for the team and the manager.” “We must look at ourselves as ambassadors of the Premier League.” “The guys who have stayed behind are all injured. Demba is one, Coloccini and Tioté.” “The senior group who are fit are all here.”
The game kicks off at 6:00 pm BST, and a draw would be a decent result, but we think that Alan Pardew will be going for the win.
The second tie will take place next Thursday night at St. James’ Park, with an 8:00 pm kick off, and that will be the first European game at Newcastle since back in 2007, when Glen Roeder was the Newcastle manager.
Newcastle won the game 4-2 on March 8th against AZ Alkmaar, when they were 3-0 up after 23 minutes, but then lost in Holland 2-0 and went out on away goals, and that was in the round of the last 16.
This was Newcastle side that night, with the substitute changes:
Shay Given, Stephen Carr, Nolberto Solano, Kieron Dyer, Oba Martins, Damien Duff (Emre, 77m) Scott Parker, Titus Bramble, Antoine Sibierski (James Milner, 65m), Nicky Butt, Steven Taylor
Subs: Steve Harper, Albert Luque, Charles N’Zogbia, Paul Huntington, Andy Carroll
Only Steven Taylor and Steve Harper are still at Newcastle, and for the record Oba Martins scored twice with Kieron Dyer also on the score-sheet and a Gretar Steinsson own goal.
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