100213111317In advance of Thursday night’s Europa League clash with FC Metalist Kharkiv, Alan Pardew has confirmed he will be “picking a strong side”.

Exactly who will be in that strong side is another matter and whether the fans will agree it is a strong starting eleven is another matter.

It would be great to see the manager throwing everything at our Ukrainian opponent on Thursday with ten days until our next league match following that home leg. With the away leg it may be a different matter but first things first.

This is what Alan Pardew had to say today;

“I will be picking a strong side for Thursday, the new lads who arrived last month give us greater depth.

It is a competition we would all love to win, it is difficult to get through the group stage so we don’t want that hard work to all be for nothing!”.

On Sunday I wrote an article  Likely Newcastle Line Up v Metalist In Europa League about the kind of side I expected Alan Pardew to put out and despite the quotes from Alan Pardew I still don’t think it will deviate much from the team shown on this graphic.

Pardew’s comments about the new players giving greater depth may suggest a debut for left-back Haidara and if that was the case then Santon may switch to the right even if Danny Simpson if passed fit for the match.

Alan Pardew is never going to say any of his squad players are weak but I definitely think most fans would judge a ‘strong side’ by how many changes we’ll see from the starting eleven that played against Tottenham.

Mapou and Tiote look sure to play and won’t weaken the side but more than one or two other unenforced changes and some fans will judge the manager harshly if the result goes the wrong way.

NUFC To Beat FC Metalist 23/20
NUFC To Win 2-0 11/1
NUFC To Win First Half 15/8

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BlingEagle 5pts

Credit to you NUFC fans for your reaction to this pitiful example of journalism. There's still plenty time to turn your season around. Here's hoping you get your Christmas wishes - players fit to wear your shirt and a fanzine blog worthy of your club. Keep the faith

southernfairy 5pts

I am a non Newcastle fan, (Yeah, soz I'm Palace). But you lot on this site are an utter joke and you do your club and it's followers a great disservice. I was at the game on Saturday and on the way to the ground and on the way home I met numerous Geordies who are are credit to NUFC, passionate followers of their local team who shares the highs and (more so recently) get frustrated by the lows but none of them came across like the bitter, sad, vindictive and delusional morons who "write" for this "publication". True fans you are not and it is an insult to them that claim to speak for them.

Polarboy 5pts

The editor of this fanzine needs to be sacked. 90% of the article contributors are fecking morons and they're giving us a bad name.  

breenebass 5pts

i'm sure i have read on here a few seasons ago about how zaha would be a great asset to the toon.

sour grapes do not sort out our internal problems. newcastle fans are lauded as some of the best, passionate and fairest fans in the world where we give credit where credit is due.

articles like this tarnish the reputation of a once great club- blaming other teams players when we weren't good enough takes focus off the real problems newcastle united are facing. please avoid doing it next time we take a hammering

andrewn2001 5pts

Are you kidding me.  We dont help ourselves with articles like this. The fact that  our captain spent more time on his arse or with his back to the ball let alone the volume or lack of commitment from every single one of the money earners not fit to wear the black and white. Picking on a player who was simply too good for any of our boys is like being in the school yard and saying my pa will smack yours.  grow up man.

BaldEagle10 5pts

Great reporting once again. This truly is THE go to place for a decent article. I'm not quite sure exactly where he says 'I'll keep on diving' but I assume it is somewhere, this being the mag - one of the most reputable sensible article writers of all time. I have to assume that he said this somewhere else and that the mag accidentally missed the quote out from their article - and not take any notice of how silly that is, seeing as the article states that this is what he said in its headline.