Newcastle - Maritimo Preview: Magpies look to secure Group D top spot

Alan Pardew's side enter Thursday's fixture knowing qualification can be obtained as they take advantage of an opportunity to arrest a recent slump in form domestically


Santon, Taylor, Coloccini, Ferguson
Marveaux, Tiote, Bigirimana, Anita 
Sa. Ameobi, Sh. Ameobi


Briguel, Rosario, Guilherme, Ferreira
David Simao, Mirando, Joao Luiz
Danilo, Fidelis, Sami

Alan Pardew goes into the competition's penultimate group fixture without the services of either Yohan Cabaye (groin) or James Perch (thigh), the former of whom is likely to be sidelined until the New Year.

Jonas Gutierrez (knee) and Gabriel Obertan (toe) also remain on the hosts' injury list, alongside long-term absentees Ryan Taylor (knee) Dan Gosling (knee) and Haris Vickic (knee).

The visitors, meanwhile, are without any fresh injury concerns and are likely to field their strongest line-up with anything short of three points at St James' Park guaranteeing their elimination from the competition.

  • Newcastle's trip to Bruges for their previous Europa League game marked the first time in 60 years that two brothers had started alongside each other for the Magpies. Shola and Sammy Ameobi were the first since George and Ted Robledo in 1962.
  • Shola Ameobi (pictured right) made a belated debut in senior international football last week. He played half an hour for Nigeria against Venezuela, assisting the final goal in a 3-1 win.
  • Despite having qualified for European competition on 16 separate occasions, the 2006 Intertoto Cup remains Newcastle's only piece of continental silverware.
  • Unlike their hosts, who were only reintroduced to Premier League life in 2010, Maritimo have gone an impressive 27 consecutive season in the Portuguese top flight.
  • Newcastle will be hoping not to emulate their fellow Brits Bangor City on Thursday night. The Welsh club were beaten 8-2 by Maritimo in the same competition in July 2010.
  • Both teams go into Thursday's fixture looking to arrest spells of underwhelming form, with only one win between them from their last 10 combined games.