Football: Handicaps add to Dalglish's defiance

Injuries and suspensions have dogged Newcastle's European campaign but Simon Turnbull finds Kenny Dalglish in a positive frame of mind for tonight's match against PSV Eindhoven.

There are to be no official bonfires in Newcastle tonight. The city council has delayed them by 24 hours. The hope is that Newcastle United will be keeping the home fires burning.

Not that anyone is expecting a repeat of the pyrotechnics which lit up St James' Park the last time Newcastle played there in the Champions' League. For one thing, Faustino Asprilla, who sparked the spectacular 3-2 beating of Barcelona, will be confined to a seat in the Milburn Stand.

That is not the only handicap with which Kenny Dalglish has to contend as he plots how to bring about the downfall of the Dutch champions, PSV Eindhoven. Alan Shearer is also still on the injured list, David Batty and Robert Lee are suspended, and his defence is in apparent disarray.

There was a hint of the bunker mentality in Dalglish's pre-match press conference. "There's a defeatist attitude that seems to be hanging round the place like a bad smell," Dalglish said, "but we're going into the game in a positive frame of mind."

It is difficult not to sympathise with Dalglish's plight. He has been deprived of not just Asprilla and Shearer but of Stuart Pearce and Alessandro Pistone too.

Newcastle have, as Dalglish felt obliged to remind the critics, still made their mark in the Champions' League, beating Barcelona and drawing against Dynamo Kiev. They were rather tame 1-0 losers in Eindhoven a fortnight ago but they did beat PSV 3-2 in the pre-season Dublin International Tournament.

That, however, was at a time when Dalglish had an embarrassment of firepower at his disposal. Even with Asprilla away of World Cup duty, Les Ferdinand and Peter Beardsley were confined to bench duty as Jon Dahl Tomasson struck up an instantly profitable striking partnership with Shearer.

The Dane was razor-sharp that night, scoring twice and setting up Newcastle's other goal for Keith Gillespie. His finishing has been blunt ever since.

He did open his Premiership account on Saturday, albeit by brushing Des Hamilton's goalbound header with his chest. And he will be the focal point for Newcastle's attacking again tonight, most likely with Temur Ketsbaia rather than Ian Rush in support.

At the other end, Pistone could make his long-awaited return, and Newcastle are likely to need the Italian's assured presence to deal with the threat posed by Luc Nilis, who scored against Shay Given at Lansdowne Road a week ago, and PSV's other Belgian striker, the volatile Gilles de Bilde.

The Eindhoven squad suffered a jolt before they even arrived on Tyneside, when their plane was struck by a truck as it stood on the runway prior to departure.

In the 21 European ties staged at St James' Park only three visiting teams have avoided a loss: Southampton (in 1969), Bastia (in 1977) and Monaco (in March this year).

Bastia and Monaco were victorious but no continental team has drawn on Tyneside. In the absence of fireworks, parity tonight would, at least, be something never before seen at St James' Park.

Newcastle United (probable): Given; Pistone, Albert, Peacock, Beresford, Watson, Gillespie, Barnes, Barton, Ketsbaia, Tomasson.

PSV Eindhoven (probable): Waterreus; Vampeta, Stam, Faber, Numan, Petrovic, Jonk, Cocu, Nilis, De Bilde, Iwan.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: SAGE Bookkeeper & PA to Directors

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Executive

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An On-line Sales & Customer Ser...

Recruitment Genius: Accounts Assistant - Fixed Term Contract - 6 Months

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the largest hospitality companies...

Recruitment Genius: Electricians - Fixed Wire Testing

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a result of significant cont...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map