Nearly there? Newcastle United v Maritimo match preview
Posted on November 22nd, 2012 | 14 Comments |
Venue: St James’ Park, Newcastle.
Date: Thursday, 22nd November.
Kick off: 8:05pm
Referee: Danny Makkelie (Holland).
UK TV: ESPN.
This will be our penultimate game in Europa League group stage, with Newcastle United facing their second (away) leg against Bordeaux for the final game after this one.
As things stand, the Magpies lead the group with eight points and a win should see us safely through to the next stage. However the Magpies only lead second placed Bordeaux by only one point. Hence the big question should be whether we finish first or second on our group, which will probably have a bearing on the strength of the opposition we would face in the next round. Meanwhile, this evening’s opponent’s chances are now hanging by a thread as they are currently bottom with only two points. This means that so far, things are going as they might have been predicted from the start, with Newcastle United being narrow favourites over Bordeaux, with Brugge being seen as the slightly stronger of the two underdogs. Speaking as a Newcastle United fan, I sincerely hope the Belgians go out after their disgraceful treatment of travelling Toon fans in the second away leg at their place. But I digress…
Getting back to Maritimo, you may recall that although Maritimo are probably the least favoured competitors in the group, our away leg on the sunny island of Madeira was a very tight affair which ended in a 0-0 draw. Substitute keeper Rob Elliot certainly earned himself Brownie points with some good saves after a couple of shakier performances when he was called on in previous first team games. As for current the current form of both teams, lets take a look:
|Newcastle and Maritimo League form this season|
|Team||Pl||Results (most recent first)||14 pts (12th)|
|Newcastle United||12|||L|L|D|W|D|L|D|W|D|D|L|W|||14 pts (12th)|
|Maritimo||9|||D|L|L|W|L|L|D|D|W||9 pts (12th)|
|Newcastle and Maritimo Europa League form|
|Newcastle United||4||D|W|W|D||8 pts (1st)|
|C.S. Maritimo||4||L|D|L|D||2 pts (4th)|
When Maritimo faced the Magpies in our previous leg in Madeira, they were fifth in their own league and unbeaten in all competitions. Now however, like Newcastle United, they have been suffering from a slump in form which has resulted in them dropping to twelfth in a sixteen team league.
Team news and squads.
James Perch, Jonas Gutierrez and Rob Elliot are back in contention after bouncing back from their respective injuries. However, Gabriel Obertan has picked up a toe injury, and Yohan Cabaye will remain out with his his stomach. Long term sicknotes, Ryan Taylor, Haris Vuckic, Dan Gosling (all knee) also remain out. Finally, Shola Ameobi is a bit of a doubt with his groin and Cheick “mad dog” Tiote has to serve out one game suspension (no surprise there) for picking up three euro yellow cards. Though still suspended in the Premiership, Fabricio Coloccini will be available for selection this evening though.
Tim Krul (G), Steve Harper (G), Rob Elliot (G), Danny Simpson (D), Mike Williamson (D), Steven Taylor (D), Davide Santon (D), James Tavernier (D), James Perch (D, M), Vurnon Anita (M, D), Shane Ferguson (M, D), Cheick Tioté (M), Jonas Gutiérrez (M), Gabriel Obertan (M), Sylvain Marveaux (M), Romain Amalfitano (M), Mehdi Abeid (M), Gael Bigirimana (M), Hatem Ben Arfa (M, F), Sammy Ameobi (M, F), Papiss Cisse (F), Demba Ba (F), Shola Ameobi (F).
Injured: Yohan Cabaye (stomach), Ryan Taylor, Haris Vuckic, Dan Gosling (all knee),
Doubtful: Shola Ameobi (groin),
Suspended: Cheick Tiote (one game).
Maritimo are now over here for the game with their 19 man squad, which is as follows:
Romain Salin (G), Ricardo Ferreira (G), Briguel (D), João Diogo (D), Roberge (D), Márcio Rozário (D), João Guilherme (D), Rúben Ferreira (D), Luís Olim (D), Igor Rossi (D), Rafael Miranda (M), David Simão (M), João Luíz (M), Rodrigo António (M), Rúben Brígido (M), Fidelis (F), Adilson (F), Sami (F), Danilo Dias (F).
Tactics, formations etc.
Please forgive me if I don’t do the same for Newcastle United as I’m sure that your guess will be as good as mine!
On the Maritimo side their last two games, both against Bordeaux, have been highly defensive, with five being played at the back in their last one. Now however, their backs are really aginst the wall and playing for a draw will certainly not be enough. It will have to be a two wins in their final two games or nothing for the Madeirans to have any hope, and even that probably won’t be enough! Hence I will predict a more attacking 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 formation similar to what as they fielded in our previous game, but with two exceptions. These will be Rúben Ferreira at left back instead of Luís Olim, and Brazilian forward Fidelis as the right sided forward instead of Héldon, who seems to have been left behind for this game.
What the managers are saying.
Alan Pardew had this to say on the game:
“We have entered it to try to win it. That’s what we are trying to do so qualification is important. We didn’t have a philosophy to have it over and done with early. We just need to qualify. We’re enjoying the Europa League.”
On the Magpies current injury problems he then added:
“Injuries have undoubtedly affected the Toon’s ability to compete on multiple fronts, as they have suffered two straight home defeats in the Premier League. The injury list has an impact. I would be silly to ignore that. We have lost rhythm because of the lack of work on the training ground we’ve been unable to do, due to the amount of games. So it is a different philosophy. We have been humbled. But we have got to keep going. I don’t want confidence suffering. I think when you’ve been humbled, there’s only one way to respond. On Thursday, and on Sunday, I expect my team to respond. It would help us no end to get senior players back. That will arm me and make us stronger. We are humble at the moment.”
Meanwhile, Maritmo head coach Pedro Martins feels that their quality of play has not trnslated into goals yet, and reflected on the fact that they desperately need a victory this evening:
“We must fight for victory!” said the Portuguese Man-o-War adding:
“This is one of those games everyone wants to play”
Reflecting on the fact they are are currently bottom of the Group D table with only two points he then added:
“To go to the game knowing that we are in a group with very strong teams, we had the notion that the task would not be easy. We have been playing quality games but unfortunately this has not translated into goals. That’s why I hope this is an epic game because we need a great game with a great result. the team os mentally well but in need of a victory.”
So that just about wraps things up for the moment, but you can also check out my previous pieces on Maritimo here and here for even more backgrond on the opposition. I will also be posting one of our usual “match banter” features about an hour before the kick-off where you can check out teamsheets, links for the game and so on, as well as highlights and possibly a video of the whole game afterwards for those who have to miss it for some reason, or just want to watch it all over again!
Howay the Lads!