Alan Pardew has said he will play his best side tonight against Anzhi, and it will be interesting to see of Cheick Tiote is in the starting line-up, after the Ivorian cost us a goal against Stoke City on Sunday.
Cheick Tiote – in action on Sunday
Cheick made a rather unnecessary and stupid lunge on Jonathan Walters, and that gave Stoke a penalty – a gift goal for the opposition – and it could be that the more compact efficient and controlled Vurnon Anita gets the start tonight for the Magpies, in the most important European game on Tyneside for many years.
And we cannot be giving any gift goals away tonight.
Here’s what Tiote said in the local papers today:
“This is a good opportunity – one of the best we might have.” “The players know that. If we win then we’ll be in the last eight and it’s important to stay in it to keep the season alive.”
“Getting to the quarter-finals will also bring us confidence to take into our league games.” “If we win tonight we can start thinking about winning it because then you are just one step away from the semi-finals.”
“We needed a full house and a 12th man – and the Newcastle fans can be that for us.” “There are 11 of us on the pitch but they can give us that extra push. “It will be important for the players to know that there is a full house behind them, and the Anzhi players will also need to be aware of the difference this could make.”
“It was great to beat Stoke. It didn’t matter how, we just needed to win any way possible.” has urged his Newcastle United team-mates to grasp the opportunity of Europa League glory tonight against Anzhi Makhachkala – or see another digit added on to a year counter that is already close to hitting 45 without a trophy.
It’s a long time since we had a game like this one tonight in Europe, and brings back memories of the Kevin Keegan and Bobby Robson years – although we also played in Europe under Graeme Souness and Glenn Roeder and did quite well.
Tonight could be a night to remember for Newcastle fans, and the club has lowered the price of tickets – and they are now just £15 for adults, £10 for students and £5 for over 65s and under-18s, apart from Premium areas where they are £20, £15 and £10 respectively.
So if you are thinking of whether to go – go along – it could be night to remember for Newcastle United.
Howay the Lads!!
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org