Newcastle United v Brugge – Match Preview
Thursday 25 October 2012 8.05pm Live On ESPN
A win for Newcastle tonight would see them with one foot in the last 32 as they would have 7 points after three group matches.
Alternatively, a defeat would see us heading to the return match in Belgium two points behind Brugge where another defeat could prove the end of our European dream.
On statistics though it would appear that it is Newcastle’s to throw away as despite the visitors standing top of their domestic league, against Belgian opposition United have won their last five, scoring 17 goals with only 4 in reply.
Indeed, to sum up the relative strengths of the two leagues, the last 24 visits to England haven’t seen a single win by a Belgian team and the last club to do so was Royal Antwerp back in 1975 against Villa.
On the other hand Newcastle are unbeaten in 18 European home matches with 16 wins and 2 draws.
Bearing in mind as well that United have only lost 2 (Man.City/Man.U.) of their last 18 matches in all competitions at St.James’ Park and even taking into account a weakened team selection, Newcastle should still have far too much for the visitors.
Alan Pardew has confirmed that Shane Ferguson and Sammy Ameobi will both play, while Check Tiote and Shola also seem all but definites. In addition you’d expect the likes of Anita, Harper, Steven Taylor, Bigirimana and Obertan as very likely starters.
On the other hand, interesting to see if Papiss Cisse is on form the start, taking into account the fact he didn’t get onto the pitch for the derby match.
In terms of bets, Newcastle are odds on to win the match but a repeat of the Bordeaux result looks decent, Newcastle to win 3-0 12/1.
Another bet that catches the eye is Newcastle to win both halves at 5/2, a strong first half performance could put the match beyond Brugge and let United dominate.
The club have announced a number of cash turnstiles will be in operation from 6.30pm with £15 for adults and £5 concessions.
Four sets of turnstiles will be available and these are as follows;
Leazes End (Sir John Hall) West Corner – Turnstiles 10,11 and 12
Leazes End (Sir John Hall) East Corner – Turnstiles 33, 34, 37 and 38
Gallowgate Upper – Turnstiles 66 and 67
Gallowgate West Corner – Turnstiles 71, 72 and 73
It could be wise to get there a bit earlier than you’d like to because for the Bordeaux match there were some decent sized queues still there at kick-off.
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