Newcastle set sights on latter stages of the Europa League against Maritimo
Last Updated: 22/11/12 11:09am
Alan Pardew: Knockout stage within reach for Newcastle
Newcastle will qualify for the last 32 of the Europa League on Thursday if they beat Maritimo at St James' Park.
Three points may not be necessary for the Magpies, as defeat for Club Bruge in Group D's other midweek fixture would see them through regardless of what happens on Tyneside.
It is, however, never advisable to rely on others to do you a favour, in this case Bordeaux, and Alan Pardew will want his side to surge into the knockout stage, rather than stumble into it.
Qualification on Thursday night would offer welcome relief to Newcastle, as they could then afford to rest key men for their final group fixture.
A hectic schedule means the Magpies are already taking in their 20th game of the season and Pardew has acknowledged that such a testing schedule will inevitably take its toll at some stage.
He is, however, determined to see Newcastle make their mark on the European stage and will want to put on a show for a loyal fan base in midweek - with four of the Magpies' next five fixtures in all competitions seeing them head out on the road.
Newcastle boss Pardew will be boosted by the return of skipper Fabricio Coloccini and striker Papiss Cisse on Thursday.
Defender Coloccini is currently serving a three-game domestic ban, but is available in Europe, while striker Cisse can play after being prevented from doing so against Swansea at the weekend after Senegal invoked FIFA's five-day rule.
Midfielder Cheick Tiote will miss out through suspension and usual partner Yohan Cabaye is preparing to undergo groin surgery, while striker Shola Ameobi (also groin) is a doubt, but midfielder Jonas Gutierrez (knee) should be available.
Maritimo coach Pedro Martins has selected a 19-man squad for the trip to England.
Keeper Ricardo Ferreira, defenders Briguel and Valentin Roberge, midfielders Rafael Miranda and Joao Luiz, and striker Sami are all expected to return after being named in the travelling party.
Martins is without forward Heldon Ramos and midfielder Olberdam, both of whom are injured. Neither are first choice but there will still be wholesale changes from the weekend, which saw many first team regulars rested for the Portuguese Cup match against Aguiar de Beira.
Previous game's starting line-ups
- 31 Alnwick
- 22 Janmaat
- 27 Taylor S
- 2 Coloccini
- 36 Dummett
- 8 Anita
- 14 Colback
- 11 Gouffran
- 7 Sissoko
- 32 Armstrong
- 17 Ayoze Perez
Team taken from Newcastle United vs Manchester United (Barclays Premier League) on Friday 26th December 2014
- 78 Salin
- 21 Briguel
- 3 Ramsteijn
- 5 Bauer
- 20 Bruno Gallo
- 8 Pereira
- 26 J Fernando Ferreira
- 50 A Xavier
- 12 Costa
- 9 W Dyego Sousa
- 31 Maazou
Team taken from Maritimo vs Arouca (Portuguese Liga) on Sunday 21st December 2014