We all know that our game in Moscow against Anzhi Makhachkala is going to be tough, and it’s against a side that has been bankrolled by Russian Billionaire Suleyman Kerimov, and is managed by the Dutchman, 66 year-old Guus Hiddink.
Guus Hiddink – Anzhi Makhachkala manager
The Newcastle 19 man squad will travel to Moscow today and Jonas Gutierrez is one the plane, along with the returning Ben Arfa – and the Argentine is expecting a very tough game:
“This is going to be a really hard game.” “When you go through in this type of competition, you know that any games you play are going to be hard at this stage.” “You also know that when you go away, it’s more difficult.”
“We have to be really compact and we must know that in the first 20 minutes of the first and second half they are going to try and score quickly to try and put us on the back foot.” “Their fans are going to want to score quickly and we need to be prepared for that.”
“The most important thing for us again is to not concede. That puts the pressure on the home side and if we can get an away goal then we have a big advantage to bring back to Newcastle.”
It will be important for Newcastle to try to get a goal in Moscow, and that could help us significantly, and the crowd will not be as intimidating as in the Ukraine in our last leg, and only around 12,000 are expected to turn up and that will include at least 100 Newcastle supporters who are making the long trek to Moscow.
But anything can happen in football and Newcastle still have a decent chance of making it through to the quarter finals, and you never know what may happen in a game.
That was epitomized last night when Manchester United were comfortably 1-0 ahead against Real Madrid, before Nani was sent off after 56 minutes, for an innocuous foul on Arbeloa (the former Liverpool player), who then rolled around the field like he had been hit by a bullet – and it was a complete shock when the referee showed Nani the red card.
It should never have been a sending off, but Real Madrid took advantage in the next 10 minutes, and scored two goals to go through to the next round – and now in 13 meetings with Jose Mourinho, Alex Ferguson has won only two games.
So nothing’s ever certain in football.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org