A score draw next Thursday night in the Ukraine against Metalist Kharkiv will see Newcastle go through to the round of the last 16 of the Europa League, but we’re not sure how strong a side Alan Pardew can field in the second leg, because we have a game just four days later in the Premier League against Southampton, a team we are tied on points with – but behind them on goal difference.
Alan Pardew – difficult section next Thursday night
So a good win a week tomorrow could see us move up the table and gain a valuable 3 points on one of the teams also fighting relegation.
And because of that, Alan Pardew will not be able to play the same team he played on Thursday night at St. James’ Park, which basically was the strongest team he could field, given who was available.
So it’s going to be difficult to get through the tie now, after failing to win on Thursday night and in our poll before the game 90% of readers expected a win in that game.
The last time we were in Europe was six years ago, under Glenn Roeder, and the Europa League was then called the UEFA Cup – and we got though to the last 16 of the competition but came a cropper against AZ Alkmaar – and after winning the first game 4-2 at home we lost 2-0 away – and went out on the away goals rule.
And here’s the team on that March night in 2007 – with the substitutes:
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
It’s interesting that only Steven Taylor and Steve Harper, two local lads, are the only players still at the club from that 18 man squad.
Let us know if you think Newcastle can make it through on Thursday night – to advance to the last 16 of the Europa League.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org