A round-up of news and views relating to Newcastle United.
Newcastle United will be without a host of first team players for their match against Anzhi Makhachkala tonight in Russia. Papiss Cisse, Fabricio Coloccini, Jonas Gutierrez and Tim Krul are all out injured, whilst Mathieu Debuchy and Yoann Gouffran are both ineligible. Hatem Ben Arfa did make the trip however, and could make an appearance in the match.
Ben Arfa has also spoken of his delight that Newcastle signed so many excellent players in the January window, meaning that the squad can now compete for the Europa League whilst also securing their Premier League status for next season.
Alan Pardew has said that despite the injury crisis, his team have as a good a chance as any of making it to the final of the competition, and that Newcastle’s competitive spirit will help them:
“You need some luck, but you need a good technical game and you need to have the right mentality in the group. I think our mentality is strong.”
Anzhi will have star names Willian, Samuel Eto’o and Lassani Diarra available, but despite the quality of their side Guus HIddink has warned his players that Newcastle will be highly motivated for the clash, and that they won’t be distracted by their Premier League match at the weekend:
“I am sure they also have aims of being in Amsterdam on May 15, that's what I've heard.
"There will be no difference in their attitude. They won't think, 'We have to play on Saturday or Sunday in the Premier League, we will take this game for granted'. No way whatsoever."
Fabricio Coloccini has flown back to Argentina to spend time with his family while he recuperates from a back injury. Alan Pardew has said that the Newcastle skipper could be out for anything from three to seven weeks, with new signing Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa set to come into the side in his absence.
Yanga-Mbiwa will partner Steven Taylor, who we argue on HITC deserves an England call up after his recent performances. Also on HITC this week Lewis Doe looks at three way Newcastle need to improve their team this summer.
image: © mikebrown59