Newcastle United plays host to Brugge at St. James' Park for the next match of the group stage in the Europa League and United looks to take a strong hold in the group.
- (Photo: Reuters/Darren Staples)
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is happy with his team's strong start to the tournament this year, having conceded just one goal in their first four games played in the Europa League thus far.
Newcastle currently sits atop Group D after defeating French club Bordeaux during the team's last match, and should United earn full points against Brugge at St James' Park, that would almost certainly secure the club's spot in the next round of the tournament.
Newcastle may be without goal keeper Tim Krul and defender Fabricio Coloccini, who have played several games recently. Pardew may opt to rest those players to be available for future fixtures.
With those players being absent, Steven Taylor could find his way into the starting lineup, as he has been featured in recent matches as a substitute.
The match could also see history made with the Ameobi brothers, Sammy and Shola, who are primed to start in the same game for the first time. It would also mark the first time two brothers played for the same team for this level of international competition.
"They are two players, I think, who can affect the first-team at this football club and take us forward as a club," Pardew said during a press conference.
"It is a big game for them and they are training very, very well. We hope to see some fine performances from those two in particular on Thursday," he added.
Ivory Coast international Chieck Tiote is set to start in midfield after being sent off at Sunderland, which means that he will now be required to serve a 3-game domestic ban, but will be available for international competition.
Kick-off for the match is at 3:05 EDT and can be watched online here.
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