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Main » 2013 » March » 14 » Europa League: Newcastle - Anzhi Makhachkala

Europa League: Newcastle - Anzhi Makhachkala

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Preview & Prediction - 14.03.2013

The home side's improved Premier League form has seen Alan Pardew shift his priorities, with the Europa League providing the Magpies' best chance of a first trophy since 1969
Alan Pardew has made the Europa League Newcastle's priority after all but securing Premier League survival with their late victory over Stoke on Sunday. As a consequence, the Magpies are expected to name as close to a full-strength starting line-up as possible rather than the heavily rotated squad Pardew has selected so far in this competition.
Tim Krul remains out with an ankle injury though Rob Elliot has proved a more-than-able deputy, while Fabricio Coloccini's back injury keeps him on the sidelines. Pardew also hopes to have key wideman Hatem Ben Arfa available after continual hamstring troubles.

Anzhi have few injury worries and the match marks the return to England's shores for Yuri Zhirkov and Lassana Diarra. Guus Hiddink has a difficult choice up front, where he may be tempted to field all three of Samuel Eto'o, Lacina Traore and Willian. 
This is the furthest Newcastle have progressed in European competition since 2006-07, when Glenn Roeder's side were eliminated at the same stage by AZ Alkmaar.
Shola Ameobi is Newcastle's top scorer in the Europa League this season with three goals.
The fixture represents the first time a Russian team has visited St James' Park for a European clash.
Anzhi midfielder Lassana Diarra (pictured right) once made his full debut for Arsenal against a Newcastle side managed by Sam Allardyce.
From the Newcastle starting XI that night, only Steven Taylor and Shola Ameobi still remain at the club.
This is the furthest Anzhi have ever progressed in Europe, with their only previous experience ending in a first-round defeat to Rangers in 2001-02.
Samuel Eto'o is Anzhi, and the competition's, top scorer this season with nine goals. He is 5/1 to score the first goal with Coral.

Sky's Prediction: 1(0) [5/10]
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