We had wondered what team Alan Pardew would play in the return leg at Metalist Kharkiv on Thursday night, and we suppose with only drawing 0-0 at home last Thursday he will be tempted to play a strong side, but that could weaken our team for the league game on Sunday at home to Southampton – and losing that game would be tragic and would keep us at least 5th bottom of the league if not worse .
Alan Pardew – some tough decisions to make this week
Newcastle’s number one priority is the Premier League every season, but we have a feeling the Newcastle manager will take a chance and play a very strong side in the Ukraine on Thursday night.
This is what he had to say in the local papers today:
“I thought we defended superbly in the first leg on Thursday night, and repeating that is going to be the key over there.” “In the whole of the first game, I thought we only really gave up one clear chance, and Tim (Krul) was able to snuff that out pretty quickly in the first half.”
“We were defensively sound all evening, and even though they tried to catch us on the break in numbers, we prevented them from doing that fairly well. The second game will be different, but defensively we’ll have to be just as good.”
“I thought Steven Taylor and Colo in particular were terrific, and Mapou did a really good job on his first start. We’ll have to take that into the second leg.” “You never want to lose a game, no matter who the opposition are, and we certainly won’t want to be losing the second leg. But we don’t want to lose against Southampton either. We want to win both games, and that’s what we’ll attempt to do.
“I’ll have to look very closely at the squad to make sure we put the right time out in Ukraine and the right team against Southampton.” “As a country, we don’t know a lot about Ukrainian football because our television coverage is saturated by the Premier League and La Liga. But the quality of Metalist was there for everyone to see in the first game.”
“Of course I’ll be disappointed if we don’t go through.”
It looks at least like Pardew will play the same defense on Thursday night that he played last week, but can they play again on Sunday afternoon?
Mathieu Debuchy will be coming back in at right back, and since Yohan Gouffran is expected to return to training today, he will also be fresh for the Southampton game – but a defeat against Southampton and Alan Pardew will again be under a lot of pressure.
Of course on the other hand, if we can get through on Thursday night and then beat Southampton on Sunday the season will get a massive uplift.
What do you think?
You can also reach Ed at email@example.com