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News and Commentary On Newcastle United Football Club By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Tim Krul To Start – Newcastle To Attack Benfica

8:56 pm, Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 56 Comments

Benfica are having a fantastic season and they are top pf the Portuguese League and unbeaten in their 24 games, of which they have won a massive 20, and they have won their last five league games.  scored 15 goals in their last three games and conceded one.

tim krul danny simpson

Krul after his last game – at Metalist Karkhiv – where he was brilliant

The famous Lisbon side are coming off a 6-1 homes win against Rio Ave, whereas Newcastle are coming of one of their worst performances of the season, a 4-0 on the road hammering at Manchester City.

So conventional wisdom would seem to favor the home side tomorrow night, but you never know with Newcastle, especially when our lads have something to prove, which they do after Saturday’s demolition.

Celtic played Benfica in the group stages of the Champions League earlier in the season, and they did quire well drawing 0-0 at home and only losing 2-1 away at the Estádio da Luz, which has a capacity of over 65,000.

So it seems Celtic manager Neil Lennon has been a good source of information for Alan Pardew and his coaching staff about Benfica.

This is what the Newcastle manager said today:

“We have good contacts regarding this team. I know this city quite well and I have some contacts here who know Benfica well. There is also Neil Lennon who we have been in contact with. I think it is important to get as much information as you can – as I’m sure Benfica have done with us.”

“It is a big test for us because I think with any team that is on such a roll as Benfica, it is going to be difficult,” “They have great momentum and that confidence breeds its own success. But I think at St James’ Park we can beat anybody – we have no doubt about that game.”

“Here, we need to put on a performance so we can take something back to give us a chance in the second leg.” “It will be difficult to contain them if we come here just to defend. I think both teams are good in possession and therefore, that will be a key element.”

The good news is that Benfica have been beaten at home in the Champions League this season – by Barcelona – so that should give Newcastle some hope – maybe. :D

But Newcastle have quite a strong squad  in Portugal, with only Cheick Tiote and Massadio Haidara not in the squad who were expected to travel.

But they could both be ready for the  Premier League home game against Fulham on Sunday, which is an important game.

We expect Newcastle to attack Benfica tomorrow night, at least on the break, and we cannot just defend against such an excellent attacking team, and we need to keep them honest at the back.

Tim Krul will definitely start tomorrow night, as that’s what the manager has been telling the traveling reporters, even after Rob has played so well in Tim’s absence, and was our Man of the Match on Saturday with 40% of the vote.

And we also expect Davide Santon to start – and so that’s a couple of players Pardew has back after Saturday’s defeat, and Sylvain Marveaux could also start, after recovering form a slight groin injury.

It should be a good game tomorrow night, but Newcastle will have to be somewhere near their best to get anything out of this first leg, and of course an away goal would be good.

How Will Newcastle Fare At Benfica?

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Tags: Europa League · European Competition · Newcastle News · Rob Elliot · Sylvain Marveaux · Tim Krul


56 responses so far ↓

  • 1 NobbyNolano // Apr 3, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    I think Krul should play in Europe but that Elliot deserves to keep his place in the Prem.

  • 2 89Norcal // Apr 3, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    “The good news is that Benfica have been beaten at home in the Champions League this season – by Barcelona – so that should give Newcastle some hope – maybe. ”

    Never know, Jonas could go into Messi-mode

  • 3 ToonDownSouth // Apr 3, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    Well if Barcelona can do it then so can we.

    We’re basically the Barcelona of the PL anyway.

  • 4 Munster Mag // Apr 3, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    If you think Pardew will attack Benfica you are quite mad.

  • 5 WWYCD // Apr 3, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    Oh it’s all getting a little bit exciting isn’t it

  • 6 north_country_boy // Apr 3, 2013 at 9:06 PM

    As usual Sky have forgotten about us again….just watched the start of Sky Sports News at 9pm – host says “…the Europa League is dominated by English teams and we’ll have team news from Spurs and Chelsea before their quarter finals” – er hello!!!??? There maybe someone else you’ve forgotten there!!!

  • 7 ToonDownSouth // Apr 3, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    Happily take a 0-0 or a 1-1. In fact I’d be bloody happy with it.

    I’d like us to keep a clean sheet and set that record though – it’s interesting that we’re very good defensively in Europe, but absolutely pants in the league.

  • 8 WWYCD // Apr 3, 2013 at 9:10 PM

    personally I’d prefer a 0-6 drumming but if ur wanting to be a wet 1-1 wouldn’t be bad I suppose :)

  • 9 89Norcal // Apr 3, 2013 at 9:12 PM


    That’s been the story all along. For all the pride of the English press, they really have dropped the ball in their coverage of Newcastle in Europe.

    And in respects to the EPL, it’s all about how we “overachieved” last season. IMO it was all a case of minimal injuries and revelations from a few players like Benny,Tiote and Colo.

  • 10 moonraker // Apr 3, 2013 at 9:13 PM

    Sorry if this is a stupid request lads but I need desperately 2 tickets for the Mackems match for a good friend. Will pay a decent price for them like! :-)

  • 11 toonicle // Apr 3, 2013 at 9:18 PM

    TDS- A 1-1 draw would be fantastic, go into the home game at SJP with an away goal under our belt.

  • 12 Mister Tuff // Apr 3, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    Mr Funk @129 previous thread.
    I see that you have posted that you have no association with Ian Toon.
    Previously I would converse on the blog with him in a cordial manner and would refer to him as a lost sheep- (in my guise as Reverend Tuff). I am reminded by Matthew 7.15 :-
    “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves”.
    Have a good evening.

  • 13 Novocastrian66 // Apr 3, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    See Kris Boyd is back in Scotland and has scored for Kilmarnock. Remember a load of people on here a couple of years ago fuming he went to Boro and that we should have signed him. Proved to be a big flop in England. Wonder if they will be back on here saying we should get him? Think not!

  • 14 yo-yo // Apr 3, 2013 at 9:25 PM

    Boyd is a poacher hence his problems down in England

  • 15 leeb1982 // Apr 3, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    Why do I dread the words- put in a performance or we’ll have a real go at them. Is it because we do neither whenever he spouts this cr4p. Don’t know how a team with the attacking potential we have can be so negative. Ohh hold on a moment…… Pardwho

  • 16 Troy Stavers // Apr 3, 2013 at 9:29 PM


    Just sold one for level 7 for £100.

  • 17 Novocastrian66 // Apr 3, 2013 at 9:33 PM

    Just seen an advert on the TV for a product called Plenty Super Strong, which is a kitchen towel. There is a bloke on it who is the spitting double of Paolo Di Canio. God I’m bored.

  • 18 nick_9 // Apr 3, 2013 at 9:43 PM

    He means physically attack, Carver is still p****d off about the Wigan game.

  • 19 Troy Stavers // Apr 3, 2013 at 9:46 PM

    Rumours rife that Benitez is being lined up by Fat Mike! Don’t shoot the messenger. ;-)

  • 20 NUFC_LEAZES END // Apr 3, 2013 at 9:47 PM


    would sell u mine, but its invaluable to me mate, I suggest you go on viagogo or whatever its called

  • 21 Novocastrian66 // Apr 3, 2013 at 9:49 PM

    Troy; rumours rife where?

  • 22 moonraker // Apr 3, 2013 at 9:50 PM

    if you hear of a couple I’m interested please mate !

  • 23 Fridge // Apr 3, 2013 at 9:54 PM


    Are you serious? I am not sure how i would react to that if it came to that. But he has lots Of experience and he would be motivated to show Chelsea supporters wrong. Way better than what we have at the present thats for sure.

  • 24 moonraker // Apr 3, 2013 at 9:56 PM

    Yeah I’ve been on Viagogo but can’t get 2 together cos some are junior concession tickets and I presume they will only let a junior use it even tho full price from Viagogo !

  • 25 Mr Funk // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:01 PM

    @ MisterTuff post 12

    Who are these false prophets?

  • 26 Cool Hand Luke // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:03 PM

    I cant honestly say i’d be over the moon if the interim one was appointed.

  • 27 GeordieToon89 // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:04 PM

    These Benitez rumours are from Indykaila from twitter, He’s been right with basically every single thing he says since I started following him in the summer… Reckons Benitez is being lined up as we’re unsure as to wether to stick with Pardew… I personally dont think this is true and think he could be wrong this time

  • 28 Transfer Sage // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:10 PM

    Can’t see that happening at all. Liverpool, inter Milan, Chelsea…all huge clubs who had a lot of money for him.

    He’s a good manager and would be an improvement but he isn’t exactly the attacking gung ho manager like keegan a lot seem to want. He rotates and defends and it’s not always pretty.

  • 29 nick_9 // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:11 PM

    Geordietoon89 – that guy said we’re looking at Fernando Torres so I’m not sure what to make

  • 30 Troy Stavers // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    Apparently its circulating on twitter. Could just be crap.

  • 31 GeordieToon89 // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    nick_9 – Yeah I seen that mate but we’ve been interested in Torres since before he went to Liverpool, We agreed everything with A.Madrid and then we went and chose Michael Owen instead because of his past premier league experience grrr!!

  • 32 Troy Stavers // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:17 PM

    He’s definitely a step up from Pards but I don’t believe our low basic wage and high bonus structure would attract him. Plus he would have to balance the books every season which I don’t believe he’s used to.

    I’ve ruled him out already. ;-)

  • 33 Novocastrian66 // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    I’m not anti Pardew as I think we have had a tough season and it is important to remember he wasn’t exactly backed in the summer with new signings. He could be on borrowed time though. Another season of inertia next year could see him bulleted. He is running out of excuses.

  • 34 Mister Tuff // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:22 PM

    Mr Funk @25.
    You pose the question – “who are these false prophets”.
    A true believer would not need to ask this question. Study the scriptures and you may answer your own question.

  • 35 Novocastrian66 // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    Torres? No way. We’ve moved on from overpriced trophy signings.

  • 36 Bambams // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:26 PM

    Dont think he would work for ash…..

    Dont think ash would admit he was wrong with Pards

    I personally think he would be better than Pards, football wise.


  • 37 bills-son // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:31 PM

    I’m not one of those calling for Pardew’s head but – if he plays a near full strength team tomorrow and again on Sunday and then complains that we lost to Fulham due to tiredness I’m having none of it.

    I’d play this team tomorrow:

    Simpson Perch Mbiwa Anita
    Obertan Marv Gosling Guti

    Mbiwa has the class to stroll through two games in four days and Sissoko has hardly broke sweat in the last three.

    I’d save all the other first teamers for Sunday.

    No chance of course that Pards will play my team and I hope his team thump Benfica and Fulham – but thats why he is paid to get results and why if he gets it wrong I’m not having the excuses.

  • 38 leeb1982 // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:33 PM

    How much more time are people prepared to give pardew. Any lower n where in the fizzy pop

  • 39 Transfer Sage // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:34 PM

    Sky sports news are reporting Benitez will consider another job in England after he leaves Chelsea.

    Won’t be Liverpool, man utd, Chelsea, spurs ot man city so who does that leave?

    Arsenal if wenger goes…not sure he will so cant see it.

    Then it’s clubs like us, can’t think who else would want him and where he’s join. Possibly Everton if moyes goes?

  • 40 Mister Tuff // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:35 PM

    I think I’ve got a reasonable explanation for this mystery tweet which includes the word “shock”. Surely this must based on the fact that the tweeter has heard a rumour that we are going to attack Benfica tomorrow night. As Toon fans this would definitely come as a shock.
    I would be highly surprised at this game plan. There is no way Percy will not play it tight – he’ll park the bus. If he doesn’t it will be a shock to me.

  • 41 Transfer Sage // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:36 PM


    If anyone is tired or showing signs of tiredness I’d not risk them tomorrow. I’m not one for resting just or the sake of it but if players are tired rather keep them for a must win league game (or easiest left on paper).

    Spurs have shown in EL your better only taking 3/4 players out otherwise you keep finess but can lose rhythm an momentum, they only change a few and are doing best out of all EL teams, having the best squad helps too mind.

  • 42 Ian Toon // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:39 PM

    147Ian Toon // Apr 3, 2013 at 9:57 PM

    Reverend Tuff- you should be defrocked. Pretty lame apology to Mr Funk. It’s good though because what you increasingly need is to be able to convince yourself that I am the poster you wish me to be . So you can experience a kind of satisfaction in another’s willed misfortune. You’ll understand the German expression for it schadenfreude. You’ll also remember that envy and malice has a sword which only reaches its target if it first passes through the party that wields it. Remember that pleasure and happiness are not the same thing. Your mate apologised to a number of us a short while ago bought us a drink and assured us that we were going to give it a right good go. May you fare well.

  • 43 Mr Funk // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:41 PM

    @Mister Tuff

    I am agnostic

  • 44 clinath@ed // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:44 PM

    What if he came as a Director of Football type position, overseeing Pards???

  • 45 yo-yo // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    One of the positives about Rafa is he rotates players and our better youngsters might have a better chance of breaking into to the side.
    He’s also a 4-2-3-1 man – which could suit us – though not with Cisse in current form. Maybe with better service mind.

    But I like many aspects of Pardew’s approach. If he’d only ALWAYS play for the second killer goal he’d convince me much more

  • 46 woolerbill // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    Par dew, the deluded fool. Making his mouth go about we can and will do. The only thing we can do with his tactics is get beat again.

  • 47 leeb1982 // Apr 3, 2013 at 10:56 PM

    Here’s how I see it. Pards is clueless. Our weakest area is wingers yet he keeps playing j-anus and oberated. 2 cb 2 wingbacks bombing on. Perchino riots sitting. Anita infront with sissoko and Cabaye pushing on. Gouff up top. Simplest. Pointless playing our wingers when they are sooooo ineffective

  • 48 Ibizatoon - Back By Popular Demand // Apr 3, 2013 at 11:03 PM

    Evening guys.

    Belfast…Loving the name change. There was me thinking you couldn’t become more ridiculous. Guess it’s not the first time i’ve been wrong ;)

    Good to have you back, ya useless tw@….missed ya x

  • 49 Tsunki // Apr 3, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    I think Sr. Benitez’s strong point is he doesn’t spill the rioja when he has an armful of tapas dishes. Apart from that he is hard to knock over accidentally.

  • 50 Tsunki // Apr 3, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    What the hells happened to the clocks? Ibiza is on…… what year is it? Is it because I mentioned something vaguely Spanish?

  • 51 Ibizatoon - Back By Popular Demand // Apr 3, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    Tsunki…Benitez? What have I walked into here?

    Should I be worried? Do I need a strong drink and to sit down? Hold me, tell me everything is going to be okay.

  • 52 Ibizatoon - Back By Popular Demand // Apr 3, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    :) Just been working hard mate – hard to believe I know. Just thought I’d get a quick blog fix.

  • 53 Tsunki // Apr 3, 2013 at 11:09 PM

    Ibiza- noticed Belfast was on today in his cunning new persona – up until then I was seriously and genuinely worried he was a goner – his Twitville account was defunct so I assumed something bad had happened. It seemed in reality it was his way of me not following him :( Good move really.

    Now I really do hope something bad happens….

  • 54 Ibizatoon - Back By Popular Demand // Apr 3, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    Tsunki…Worried or hopeful?

    Don’t tell me you follow him on twitter? :)

    What’s all this Benitez stuff about?

  • 55 DURhamTOON // Apr 3, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    Hi everyone this is a survey for my friends uni project. He’s collecting information on the effect that marketing has on football fans behaviour towards buying match tickets/club merchandise. Thank you in advance to everyone that fills it in!

    Ed a response from you is compulsory!!!

  • 56 The next Mike Williamson // Apr 4, 2013 at 7:14 PM

    Very defensive team line-up with Jonas (natural DML) playing on wing and Sissoko (natural DM) playing off a striker. Marveaux, Krul & Cisse’s performances will be crucial to our result…. 1-1 I’m hoping for them to get a red card or something

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