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Guus Hiddink's men enjoyed a home victory against Liverpool earlier in the tournament and Willie Duncan is backing the Russian side to edge to victory over Alan Pardew's side

Newcastle United face a stern test of their European credentials when they travel to Russia to face big-spending Anzhi Makhachkala in the last 16 of the Europa League on Thursday evening.

Alan Pardew’s men battled to a hard-fought 1-0 aggregate victory over Metalist Kharkiv in the last round but this tussle appears to represent a step up in class for the Magpies, who are rated as a 9/2 (5.50) chance with William Hill to take a first leg advantage back to Tyneside.

Anzhi, under the stewardship of Guus Hiddink, claimed home victories over Liverpool and Udinese in this competition this season before brushing aside Hannover 96 in the last round.

The Russian side can be backed at an appealing 7/10 (1.70) with William Hill to defeat the Magpies in the first leg while the same firm go 12/5 (3.40) that the match ends in stalemate.

Former Barcelona striker Samuel Eto’o is currently plying his trade with Anzhi and the Cameroon international is subject of William Hill’s "headline offer" for this match, with the odds compilers offering 5/2 (3.50) that the 31-year-old forward scores at any time in a victory for Thursday’s hosts.

It is worth noting that just two of Newcastle’s eight Europa League ties this season has produced more than two goals and Alan Pardew’s men will be keen to keep things tight on Anzhi’s artificial surface in the hope of making home advantage count when Guus Hiddink's side visit St James’ Park next week.

Therefore, the 7/10 (1.70) quote from William Hill for fewer than three goals to be scored here is sure to attract support.

However, Anzhi should prove to be too strong for their English Premier League opponents and the 7/10 (1.70) for a home win should be snapped up here while value hunters should take a chance on Anzhi enjoying a repeat of their 1-0 success over Liverpool earlier this term – an outcome which can be backed at a juicy 11/2 (6.50) with William Hill.

BET
OF THE
DAY
BEST BET
VALUE BET
Anzhi Makhachkala to win at 7/10 (1.70) with William Hill
Anzhi Makhachkala to win 1-0 at 11/2 (6.50) with William Hill

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Willie Duncan is a freelance sports journalist. Willie, from Edinburgh, has covered Scottish football for over 10 years and he specialises in football betting markets from across Europe. You can also follow Willie on Twitter

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