Newcastle v Bordeaux preview
Newcastle will name a strong starting XI against Bordeaux, despite the match coming less than 72 hours before their clash with Manchester United.
Last Updated: 04/10/12 10:06am
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is expected to name a strong starting XI against Bordeaux, despite the match coming less than 72 hours before their clash with Manchester United.
The Magpies boss has previously been keen to give his fringe players a taste of the action in the Europa League so far, but will turn to more of his senior men against the Group D leaders.
Pardew is faced with a different challenge this season as he juggles domestic and continental duties, with Sir Alex Ferguson's Red Devils arriving at St James' Park on Sunday afternoon for the clash which is live on Sky Sports 1HD.
He said: "We managers tend to steer away from 'stronger' and 'weaker' teams because the squad has obviously got to be used this season.
"No-one analyses their players more than we do in terms of their performance physically, mentally and tactically, and we need to put a team out that can play and beat Bordeaux.
"With all due respect to the teams we have played in this European competition, the team for Thursday needs to be stronger. We respect Bordeaux and we are looking forward to playing against them - but we expect to win."
Full-back Danny Simpson returns to the Newcastle squad for the game against the French outfit.
The former Manchester United defender has been out since damaging a hamstring in the 1-1 Premier League draw with Aston Villa on 2nd September, but his return to fitness could hardly have been better-timed with Pardew facing a defensive crisis.
Central defender Steven Taylor damaged a calf muscle at Reading on Saturday and like Fabricio Coloccini (hamstring), is likely to miss this game and United's visit to Tyneside on Sunday.
Goalkeeper Tim Krul (elbow) remains on the sidelines, although midfielder Yohan Cabaye is available after recovering from a mouth infection.
Bordeaux coach Francis Gillot, whose side have lost six and drawn two of their European meetings with English clubs, has admitted he does not know which Newcastle team his side will face.
He said: "Newcastle essentially have two teams: they have a team that plays in the league, and then they have a team that plays in the League Cup and the Europa League, so it's very difficult for us to know which side they are going to name.
"It's very difficult, therefore, to explain to my players, how they are going to play tactically. That's why we are going to focus on ourselves."