Alan Pardew – Squad Is Being Stretched At The Moment

Newcastle will be without injured Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba and James Perch tomorrow night in Belgium, but suspended Cheick Tiote and Fabricio Coloccini will both start the game against Club Brugge.

Gael Bigirimana – could get a start tomorrow night

The Newcastle squad will leave Tyneside this afternoon for the short puddle jump over to Belgium, and it’s not really possible for Alan Pardew to have too much choice in who he plays tomorrow, with three players injured coming out of the 1-1 draw at Anfield last Sunday.

Club Brugge boss George Leekens was fired on Sunday, after the club’s 5th successive loss in all competitions, and George only joined the club in the early summer, after giving up the management of the top Belgium National side.

It could be that Shola Ameobi and Papiss Cisse play up front in a 4-4-2 formation, and we’re sure that our two best youngsters at the moment – Sammy Ameobi and Shane Ferguson – will also get starting positions to show what they can do.

This is what Alan Pardew said in the local press today:

“It’s an opportunity to get the qualification sorted, and that’s what we want to do.” “But it’s easier said than done because we’re all aware of Brugge’s qualities after the first game and we’re carrying three more big injuries after the trip to Liverpool at the weekend.”

“Yohan Cabaye, James Perch and Demba Ba definitely won’t play, so that’s three big players that are out of the equation before we’ve got on the plane.” “That doesn’t give me a lot of options to rest players or shuffle the team around.”

“The squad is really being stretched at the moment, and there’s no doubt that events at Anfield at the weekend have hurt us.” “But because of their suspensions, Fabricio Coloccini and Cheick Tiote definitely come into the equation where they might not have in other circumstances.”

“That will help, and I’m confident we’ll be going there with a strong enough team to hopefully get a win.” “We saw enough from Brugge in the game at St James’ to know that they’ll pose a threat on their home ground.

“European teams at home are often a very different proposition to when they’re playing away.” “It will be a tough game – we’re under no illusions about that.” “It’s going to be important that we’re the ones controlling proceedings from the very first minute.”

“We’ll do our best to do that and hopefully that will enable us to come away with another positive result in Europe.”

With both Perch and Cabaye out we could also see Vurnon Anita or Gael Bigirimana partnering Cheick Tiote in central midfield , and of course the in-form Gabby Obertan will start the game on the right wing.

It’s an important game for the Magpies, because a win will see us qualify for the last 32 of the competition, and we are still unbeaten after four games, being top of Group D on 7 points from 3 games.

We hope for the win, but we suppose a draw would also be a good result, although Club Brugge seem to be in a desperate situation at the moment.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

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