Atromitos - Newcastle Preview: Magpies return to Europe after five-year absence

Alan Pardew is set to ring the changes for his side's trip to Athens which comes only 48 hours before they travel to Stamford Bridge in the Premier League


 Skondras, Fytanidis, Oikonomou, Tavlaridis
Iglesias, Ballas
, Brito, Pitu


Simpson, Williamson, Perch, Santon

Anita, Bigirimana, Amalfatino
Obertan, Campbell, Gutierrez

Alan Pardew will use some squad rotation for his team's trip to Athens, as Newcastle travel to Chelsea on Saturday, with key trio Fabricio Coloccini, Chiekh Tiote and Demba Ba all left at home, as they are carrying knocks.

Hatem Ben Arfa will also not feature after picking up a three-game European ban with previous club Marseille in 2010.

Former Liverpool goalkeeper Charles Itandje is the Greek side's first choice in goal and is expected to feature on Thursday evening.

Another player once of British shores, Njazi Kuqi, has just completed a move to Atromitos and could make his debut against the Magpies. He is the brother of former Premier League strike, Shefki, and has turned out for Birmingham, Blackpool and Stevenage during his time in England.

  • Athens-based Atromitos finished fourth in the Greek Super League last season, 23 points behind champions Olympiakos.
  • They were relegated in 2008 but gained promotion straight back into the Greek Super League at the first time of asking.
  • Atromitos have never won the Greek league or cup, though they have won the second division twice.
  • The Greek side have only ever played two European games, they lost 6-1 on aggregate to Sevilla in the 2006-07 Uefa Cup.
  • Newcastle have played 119 European games in their history.
  • The last time the Magpies were in Europe was in the 2006-07 Uefa Cup, when they blew a three-goal lead in the last 16 against AZ Alkmaar.
  • In total Newcastle have played 16 seasons in European competition and the Uefa Intertoto Cup is their only title.
  • Former goalkeeper Shay Given is the club's record appearance holder in European competitions.
  • While Alan Shearer (right) is the club's record goalscorer in Europe with 30 goals.