Bordeaux - Newcastle Preview: Magpies chase top spot in Europa League group
Alan Pardew's men travel to France looking to leapfrog their hosts and secure qualification as group winners, having turned around a run of poor form with victory over Wigan
By Alex Hess
Mariano, Henrique, Planus, Tremoulinas
Sertic, N'Guemo, Sane, Plasil
Simpson, Coloccini, Williamson, Ferguson
Cisse, Marveaux, Sa Ameobi
Bordeaux boss Francis Gillot will be hoping to welcome back Henri Saivet into his matchday squad for Thursday's meeting, though Abdou Traore (thigh) is likely to be ruled out.Alan Pardew remains without Yohan Cabaye (groin) and Steven Taylor (hamstring) for his side's trip to France. The duo join longer-term absentees Dan Gosling (knee), Gabriel Obertan (toe) and Ryan Taylor (knee) on the injury list.
The Magpies' chief creator and native Frenchman Hatem Ben Arfa (hamstring) is also a doubt for the clash.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
Bordeaux midfielder Ludovic Obraniak's career has seen him line up alongside both Papiss Cisse (at FC Metz) and Yohan Cabaye (at Lille).
The Ligue 1 outfit have not won in nine meetings with English sides but have come out of all their previous eight European home games victorious.
- Bordeaux's David Bellion (pictured right) is familiar with the north east of England, having spent two somewhat undistinguished seasons at Sunderland. Now back in France, he has not scored a league goal since 2009.
- Newcastle's 3-0 defeat of Wigan on Monday night was the first time that the club had scored three goals in a match since the visit of Bordeaux to St James' Park at the start of October.
- The Magpies have played 15 league games so far this season, in which they have netted 17 goals. Every one of those has been scored by a French speaker.
- Despite the 2012-13 season representing Shola Ameobi's senior international breakthrough (he made his debut for Nigeria in November), he is yet to score a goal outside of the Europa League this campaign.
Shola Ameobi is 11/4 with William Hill to score anytime in this match.
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Top 3 Predictions
Bordeaux 1-2 Newcastle
- 21.71 %
Bordeaux 1-1 Newcastle
- 13.95 %
Bordeaux 2-1 Newcastle
- 11.63 %
|UEFA Europa League (EL)||Dec 6, 2012||Bordeaux 2 - Newcastle 0|
|UEFA Europa League (EL)||Oct 4, 2012||Newcastle 3 - Bordeaux 0|
|Dec 18, 2013||Stade Rennais FC 1 - Bordeaux 2||FRLC|
|Dec 15, 2013||Bordeaux 2 - Valenciennes FC 1||FRA1|
|Dec 12, 2013||Maccabi Tel-Aviv 1 - Bordeaux 0||EL|
|Dec 8, 2013||Bordeaux 1 - LOSC Lille Métropole 0||FRA1|
|Dec 4, 2013||EA Guingamp 0 - Bordeaux 1||FRA1|
|8||Fahid Ben Khalfallah||Midfielder|
|-||André Biyogo Poko||Midfielder|
|14||Cheick Tidiane Diabaté||Striker|
'The Little Prince' is mobile, can finish adeptly with either foot or his head and will be continually looking to spring the away visitors' offside trap with tireless running. The competition has been kind to him so far this term, and he will be looking to continue his heady momentum.
The winger, due to various issues with form and fitness, has not yet been treated to any sort of extended run in the Newcastle first team since joining from Rennes in the summer of 2011. Indeed, it has almost been completely forgotten that Marveaux was in great demand at the time of his move, with Newcastle reportedly narrowly beating Kenny Dalglish's Liverpool to his signature.
In the absence of fellow Frenchman Hatem Ben Arfa, Marveaux underwent what has become a rarity for him in Monday's win over Wigan: a full 90-minute outing. He performed well, too, embarking on a couple of eye-catching darts forward during which he showed some fine close control and no shortage of confidence. With Ben Arfa again unlikely to be risked on Thursday, Marveaux would appear probable to keep his place in Pardew's side. Back on native soil, the 26-year-old will be keen to impress and indeed should be looking to take advantage of an opportunity to finally establish himself in the Magpies' starting XI.
It is something that should ideally be avoided and, despite Newcastle's recent poor form having come to an end with a win over 10-man Wigan, they cannot be expected to breeze past the French side on their own turf. This is likely to be a tightly fought contest and, with the visitors shorn of a number of first-teamers, the sensible money could well be on Bordeaux to edge it.