The game tonight against Metalist Kharkiv will decide whether Newcastle are still part of the Europa League competition or not – and our lads need a score draw or a win to get through tonight. If the scores are level at 0-0 after 90 minutes the game will go to extra time, and if they are still level at 0-0 after 30 minutes of extra time, then penalties will be necessary.
Since we have a tough game against Southampton on Sunday we have to hope we can get through this game in the first 90 minutes – and we have a chance to do that, but it will be very difficult against a very good side, and in front of a sell-out crowd of close to 40,000 at the Metalist Stadium.
And Alan Pardew has taken a very strong squad to the Ukraine for tonight’s game, and it looks like he will be going all out to try to get through this tie – but what side he will line up against Southampton on Sunday afternoon, in the early kick-off game, remains to be seen – but we really need to win that game too.
Here’s the side we think Alan will turn out tonight:
Yanga-Mbiwa Coloccini (c) Taylor (S) Simpson
Marveaux Cabaye Tiote Perch Gutierrez
Subs: Elliot Haidara Williamson Bigirimana Anita Obertan Ameobi (Sh)
That’s a strong side with a good bench – what would your team be tonight?
Alan Pardew and the squad training at Metalist Stadium
Newcastle have only won once away from home all season, at Villa Park last month, but we have three draws on the road in the Europa League, and Metalist have lost two game at home in the Ukraine Premier League this season.
And this is what Alan Pardew said about the game:
“The atmosphere will probably be the first time we really experience a hostile crowd in this competition.” “But we have players who have played on the international stage and are used to that scenario, so I don’t envisage a problem. If I put my best team up against any team in this competition, I would feel confident.”
And the Metalist manager 62 year-old Myron Markevich, who has managed 14 clubs, including the Ukraine National side since starting his management career back in 1984 – seems to think Newcastle still have a decent chance of going through, and he’s not under-estimating us:
“I think it’s level. Our chances to win are equal and our chances to go through are equal.” “As I said after the first game, Newcastle are a very good team, and they shouldn’t be in the (Premier League) position they are in. They should be in the top 10, minimum.”
“We had a hard game in England, when we felt we lacked game practice, but everything will be decided tomorrow evening.” “The mood is great, the same as it was in England. Newcastle are a very good team. They are coming here with a full squad and we will see what happens.”
“It will be a great atmosphere. It will be like in England because English fans also know their football and also know how to support.” “Our fans support very well and are very passionate, and I think tomorrow you will like the game very much.”
In our poll, 64% of our readers think we will be able to advance to the next round of this competition.
And two out of three readers think Alan Pardew should start his strongest side tonight.
It’s now less than seven hours to kick off time – so we hope for the very best, and with a little bit of luck (which we didn’t have last Thursday) – we can get through this tie.
Howay The Lads!!
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org