We understand why Alan Pardew plays a second eleven in the Europa league games this season, because our squad is still far too small, and top players cannot play two games a week and all of that good stuff, but we are jeopardizing our chances of qualifying from the group stages of the competition – that’s a concern.
The good news is that both Yohan Cabaye and Danny Simpson will be in the side tonight, and there’s quite some competition going on between the fringe players and the youngsters at the club, for a starting position tonight.
We expect Rob Elliot to get his very first game at St. James’ Park, after two good performances in the last couple of weeks, and we think James Tavernier and Haris Vuckic are also likely to start the important game tonight.
And after Shane Ferguson’s’ excellent two sub appearances in the last two games, he should get a start out on the left wing tonight.
Here’s the side we think Alan could put out tonight:
Simpson Williamson Perch Tavernier
Obertan Cabaye Anita Ferguson
Aleobi (Sh) Vuckic
Subs: Harper Bigirimana Marveaux Ameobi (Sa) Gosling Cisse
Pardew could probably find a starting position somewhere for Dan Gosling, who’s now looking a decent player at the club, although he missed a couple of good chances at Old Trafford last Wednesday night.
Hatem Ben Arfa is now available to play in Europe, having served a three-game European ban, and he may even be on the bench tonight, although we think Alan Pardew will give opportunities to other fringe players against Bordeaux.
But we do expect Papiss Cisse to possibly be on the bench, and to make an appearance in the second half, as he needs to score some goals, and tonight’s a decent opportunity for the Senegal man to get a goal, as he did last week at Old Trafford.
This is Newcastle’s 124th game in European competition and we’ve won 70 and lost only 29, and the club has a good record in Europe – and in fact Newcastle are currently on a 19-game unbeaten run at home in European games, with our last defeat on Tyneside being against Monaco way back in 1997.
Let’s hope that record is not broken tonight.
We really do need the win tonight, and a draw will not really be good enough and that would leave Bordeaux still two points clear of Newcastle at the top of group D.
If we are to progress in the Europa League and out of the group stage, then we probably need the win tonight.
What do you think?
Howay The Lads!!
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org
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