Anzhi - Newcastle Preview: Magpies set for tough test against big-spending Russians
Alan Pardew's side will be looking to take a first-leg lead back to St James' Park but will have to work hard against Guus Hiddink's high-flyers
By Nicholas McGee
Anzhi have no new injury worries and go into the game with a full squad of players to choose from, with superstars such as Willian, Samuel Eto'o and Lassana Diarra all set to play from the start.
Newcastle could welcome back Hatem Ben Arfa (hamstring), but Fabricio Coloccini (back) has been ruled out by manager Alan Pardew while Papiss Cisse was not part of the 19-man squad.
Ryan Taylor (knee) is close to recovery, however he is unlikely to return to action until the end of the month.
Tim Krul (ankle) remains on the sidelines after picking up an injury in the last round against Metalist Kharkiv and Steve Harper's absence with a knee injury means Rob Elliot will continue in goal.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Newcastle have faced Anzhi star Samuel Eto'o in European competition before, the Cameroonian was part of the Real Mallorca side that suffered a 7-1 aggregate Uefa Cup loss to the Magpies in 2004.
- Shola Ameobi (pictured right) played in the second leg of that tie and will move level with Alan Shearer on 38 European appearances for Newcastle if the plays in both legs of this tie.
- The Magpies have beaten a Guus Hiddink side in the past, as they overcame PSV Eindhoven over two legs in the quarter-finals of the 2003-04 Uefa Cup before losing to Marseille in the next round.
- Anzhi have won all seven of their Europa League home games this season, scoring 12 times and conceding just once.
- Hiddink's side have only lost twice in their domestic league this term, with defeats against Rubin Kazan and CSKA Moscow both coming away from home.
- As a football club, Anzhi are 99 years younger than Newcastle, having only been formed in 1991.
- This tie marks the first time that Newcastle have faced Russian opposition in European competition.
Top 3 Predictions
Anzhi Makhachkala 2-0 Newcastle
- 18.23 %
Anzhi Makhachkala 2-1 Newcastle
- 14.71 %
Anzhi Makhachkala 1-2 Newcastle
- 9.47 %
|Europa League (EL)||15-Mar-2013||Newcastle 1 - Anzhi Makhachkala 0|
|Europa League (EL)||07-Mar-2013||Anzhi Makhachkala 0 - Newcastle 0|
|06-Dec-2013||Anzhi Makhachkala 1 - Kuban 2||RUS1|
|02-Dec-2013||Anzhi Makhachkala 0 - Tom Tomsk 2||RUS1|
|28-Nov-2013||Anzhi Makhachkala 1 - Sheriff 1||EL|
|24-Nov-2013||Anzhi Makhachkala 0 - Volgar-Gazprom Astrakhan 0||RUS1|
|10-Nov-2013||Amkar 1 - Anzhi Makhachkala 0||RUS1|
|-||Joao Carlos Pinto Chaves||Defender|
|10||Hatem Ben Arfa||Midfielder|
Times In IST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed