Newcastle To Play Weakened Side At Bordeaux

With a tough game at Fulham next Monday night, and a very tough December schedule coming up,  and with Newcastle having already qualified for the knock-out stages of the Europa League, Alan Pardew will likely play a weakened side tomorrow night in Bordeaux.

Alan Pardew – I can’t afford to lose anybody

And Tim Krul was talking about Europe yesterday, and we are the first English side to qualify for the final 32, and whether Tottenham and Liverpool can also qualify is still up in the air.

This is what Tim said:

“We’ve already achieved one thing: the Europa League. We wanted to stay in that, we’re in the last 32 and it’s a great competition to be in.”  “We’ve qualified, that’s the main priority,” said Krul. “Now we just need to see how everyone is. The manager will decide who’s fit and who’s not fit to go.

“Is it important to get the top spot? Yes and no. I think I’ve heard (Jose) Mourinho say that every time he’s won the Champions League he’s finished second in the group.”  “Great teams are dropping down from the Champions League but I’ve also seen a lot of good teams in the Europa League already.”

I’m not really fazed whether it’s top of the group or second. We’ve qualified, that’s the most important thing.”  “We’re the first English team to do that. We went through a bad spell but like I said, hopefully we’re over that. We’re through now, hopefully we’ll top the group and I’m looking forward to Fulham now.”

It seems ridiculous that some clubs who have failed to qualify in the Champions league will drop down to the Europa League, although Manchester City will not even qualify for that, after losing 1-0 at Borussia Dortmund last night.

And with four successive defeats in the league for Newcastle, that set a few alarm bells off at St. James’ Park recently – we were finally able to right the ship a little with a good 3-0 win over 10 man Wigan on Monday night.

And it’s clear that the Premier League just has to be the top priority for Newcastle every season, and it’s unlikely a lot of our big guns will play in France, and many may not even make the trip.

This is what Alan Pardew said yesterday:

“Our fans need to know that I’m going to have to protect our side because we have got massive games coming up.” “I can’t afford to lose anybody in that game, so there will be a few debuts there and if we have got fans flying over or thinking about it, they need to know that.”

It would be nice to keep our unbeaten record in Europe,  and it seems that players like Rob Elliot, James Tavernier, Shane Ferguson, the Ameobi brothers and Gael Bigirimana will get games tomorrow night.

The Fulham game on Monday night is far more important.

What do you think?

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