In 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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  • matty

    why does krul, cisse, cabaye etc have 2 be rested ??? go full strength 11 hopefully get 2 or 3 then rest players 2nd leg with southampton in mind…simples !!!

    • I agree. These are supposedly fit and healthy players. Do they need a “rest”? Play the strongest available side. I was never rested by any of my bosses after I had to work overtime. More mush from Pardew. Strong does not equate with strongest! In other words “strong” in Pardew parlance equates with “weaker”,

  • Heaton Mick

    I don’t understand the point of resting Krul other than the risk of him getting injured.

    It’s also debatable how many of the other players need to be rested as there’s only Santon, Jonas and Cisse who have played more than 20 games this season as most the first teamers have been rested in all the cup games so far or spent significant periods injured.

  • OhSholaAmeobi

    krul, santon, mbiwa, s.taylor, haidara, tiote, anita, cabaye, sissoko, cisse, marveaux?

  • anyobrien

    There is far to much at risk to be playing our 1st eleven.Remember Arfa? not been seen since or last Europa game.Could you imagine the out cry if Cabaye or Sissoko was ruled out for 6 weeks with a hamstring tear.We ain’t going to win this cup so go 2nd string.Epl survival is what its all about.