Thursday 6 November 2012 6pm Live On ESPN
A bit of a shame that what could and should have been the highlight of the group has ended up as a dead game to a large extent.
Bordeaux were overcome comfortably on home turf but it would have been an interesting clash to see if Newcastle could have repeated the dose on French soil, with more at stake and potentially a stronger team.
However, what circumstances have done is create another opportunity for the fringe/younger players to take their chance against decent opposition – Bordeaux currently sixth in the French league.
The manager has already confirmed that amongst his starters will be Gael Bigirimana, Sylvain Marveaux, Shane Ferguson, Sammy Ameobi and….Nile Ranger!
Explaining the selection the manager had this to say to the official club website;
“Nile will start. I think he’s probably the story of the last two or three months in terms of a positive. He’s been out of the papers, he’s been on time for the last eight to ten weeks and he’s put in application on the training ground.
I have brought everyone who is fit.
Bigi will play, he’s in good form and has good confidence from Monday night, Fergie and Sammy both play, I’ll be looking for good performances from them.
So will Sylvain, who played very well, he will start”.
The full squad that travelled is;
Krul, Elliot, Abeid, Amalfitano, Sammy and Shola Ameobi, Anita, Bigirimana, Campbell, Cisse, Coloccini, Ferguson, Marveaux, Moyo, Newton, Perch, Ranger, Simpson, Tavernier and Williamson.
So with the info the manager has already supplied the line-up could be along these lines;
Krul/Elliot, Perch, Coloccini, Williamson, Ferguson, Bigirimana, Anita, Marveaux, Sammy Ameobi, Shola, Ranger
The manager could always move Perch into midfield or centre-back as well and indeed Simpson may start to give the defence a bit of continuity, whilst up front it will depend on Shola’s fitness whether he is able to start. Cisse has travelled but I assume he would only start in the absence of Shola, if at all.
Maybe the biggest positive is that at long last we have a competitive match where a result isn’t essential, hopefully meaning that the younger players can have a bit more freedom to express themselves, rather than having a fear factor hanging over them which may well have curbed their natural instincts.
Hard to know what to expect from tonight but just like the players, it will be good as a fan to watch a match relatively stress free after the November we’ve just had, especially with the relief of the Monday’s three points fresh in the mind.
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